Typhoon Haiyan: Australia gives $11.7m to typhoon-hit Philippines

Philippine and US military personnel load relief goods for Tacloban on board a US C-130 plane for victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Cental Philippines, at a military base in Manila on Nov 11, 2013. Australia boosted its funding for relief
Philippine and US military personnel load relief goods for Tacloban on board a US C-130 plane for victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Cental Philippines, at a military base in Manila on Nov 11, 2013. Australia boosted its funding for relief efforts in the Philippines to A$10 million (S$11.7 million) on Monday with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop describing the unfolding tragedy as "absolutely devastating". -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia boosted its funding for relief efforts in the Philippines to A$10 million (S$11.7 million) on Monday with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop describing the unfolding tragedy as "absolutely devastating".

"Reports continue to come in that this is a disaster on a massive scale," Bishop told reporters.

Australia donated an immediate US$490,000 (S$610,000) on Sunday to help the Philippines recover from the super typhoon Haiyan which is feared to have claimed more than 10,000 lives.

Bishop said she had now approved a A$10 million humanitarian aid package which would include A$4 million towards the United Nation's appeal and A$3 million for Australian non-government organisations.

It is one of the largest donations by any country so far and Bishop said Australia was ready to offer more assistance if needed.

New Zealand also increased its humanitarian relief, bringing its total to NZ$2.15 million (S$2.2 million), Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said.