Filipinos thankful for UAE aid as they mourn typhoon Haiyan victims

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Hours before his flight to his hometown in Tacloban, the main city hit by the super typhoon, Mikkoy Tampil, an overseas Filipino worker based in Dubai, said he doesn’t know what to expect upon his arrival.

Tampil has been trying to contact his wife and daughter, both who have been staying in a hotel in the city when typhoon Haiyan made landfall on Friday.

“It’s been five days since I last spoke to them,” he said.

“We all need prayers,” he added.

The United Arab Emirates on Sunday said it will send $10 million of assistance to victims of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which is feared to have claimed more than 10,000 lives.

The international community “must stand together in times like these and assist the relief efforts. With this contribution, the UAE Government affirms its deep solidarity with those affected by this natural disaster in the Philippines,” read a statement released by the UAE’s news agency WAM.

Rizalina Reposo, a Filipina worker based in Dubai, told Al Arabiya News: “I’m very thankful to the UAE government for giving aid to the Philippines. I just hope it goes to the right people.”

Reposo lost her uncle, aunt and two cousins to the typhoon. Her relatives are searching for other five members of her family who are missing and feared dead.

Kirby Fajardo, a Filipino worker based in Abu Dhabi, told Al Arabiya News: “I hope that with this amount of money, they can help us find our missing families, and provide food and shelter to our relatives.”

Fajardo has been unable to contact his aunt and uncle.

Typhoon Haiyan, considered one of the most powerful storms on record, struck six central Philippine islands on Friday, wiping away buildings and levelling seaside homes with ferocious winds of 235 kilometres per hour.

Grace Princesa, the Philippines’ ambassador to the UAE, told Al Arabiya: “We’re thankful to the Emirati government and people for their support during our trying times.”

Her embassy was able to send initial financial aid to the Philippines on Sunday, and has released hotline numbers to make donations and ask for assistance, she added.

The Filipino community in the UAE is continuously raising funds to help the typhoon victims back home, said Princesa.

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