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Christian charities 'inspired' by British response to Typhoon

Christian charities are describing the British response to the emergency appeal to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines as 'inspiring'. The comments come as the number of donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee's (DEC) appeal reached £13m in its first 24 hours. Fourteen charities will use the money to get food, water and shelter to more than 11 million people affected in the disaster. The first plane carrying British aid touched down this morning and flights from around the world carrying emergency aid are now regularly arriving at Cebu Airport.

The government's already committed to giving £10 million and has agreed to match donations up to a total of £5 million. The UN's Emergency Relief co-ordinator Baroness Amos says more is needed. She said: "The priority has got to be: let's get the food in, let's get the water in. We've got a lot more coming in today but even that will not be enough. We're going to need to really scale up our operations on an ongoing basis."

Speaking from Cebu, World Vision says people are still desperate for food five days after the super storm devastated large parts of the country. Chris Clarke is the CEO of World Vision New Zealand and is in Cebu. He told Premier's Marcus Jones that Britain's generosity is inspiring to those working to get aid to the victims. 

The DEC said damage to transport links and heavy rain have affected aid distribution efforts, but vital aid is beginning to get through as relief operations are stepped up. 

DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: "The initial public response has been overwhelming - people have given so generously in such a short space of time. They have obviously been moved by the heart-breaking stories coming out of the Philippines of those struggling to survive.  

"Much of the money donated will be needed to pay for work by emergency teams on the ground who are providing essentials such as food, water and temporary shelter. It's clear that people are getting desperate. It's vital that we continue to respond to their needs, and that the UK public continues to give."

The United Nations said £190m is needed in total to help survivors. Pastor Virgilio Pansacala leads the Filipino International Church in Whitley Bay, in the North East. He told Premier's Marcus Jones on the News Hour how his familiy's been affected by the disaster.

The Queen's made a personal donation to victims and sent the following message to President Aquino of the Philippines: "I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of life and devastation caused by the typhoon that hit the Philippines at the weekend.

"Prince Philip joins me in offering our heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families at this difficult time. Our deepest sympathies go out to all those whose lives have been affected."

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