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British experts to help the Philippines prepare for disasters

Staff writer |
As the Philippines marks one year since the devastating Typhoon Haiyan, the International Development Secretary has announced new UK support for the country’s long-term recovery.

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A team of meteorologists and senior climate scientists from the Met Office will head to the Philippines to help develop their national weather centre, helping the country to better plan evacuations, put in place life-saving public warning services and build infrastructure that can withstand natural disasters.

Weather scientists from the Philippines will also be brought to the UK to be trained in how to use the supercomputers and sophisticated software behind the Met Office’s weather and climate prediction systems.

As well as this work with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the ?9 million aid package will get small businesses back on their feet and help the country prepare for the financial costs of future disasters.

The total package includes funding to develop the Philippines’ weather centre (?820,000); a contribution to an Asian Development Bank fund which will encourage lending to more than 160,000 micro-enterprises to help get small businesses, especially farmers and fishermen, back on their feet (?5 million); and help for the Philippines to access catastrophe risk insurance so it can prepare for the financial costs of natural disasters (?3 million).

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: "The UK was at the forefront of the international response to Typhoon Haiyan. One year on from the devastating typhoon the UK has not forgotten about the people of the Philippines. As communities there continue the process of rebuilding their lives, UK aid is making a difference.

By sending a team of specialists from the Met Office we are offering the very best of British expertise and weather know-how to strengthen the Philippines’ resilience to future disasters. We are also helping restart vital fishing and farming industries so thousands of the poorest women-led households can get their livelihoods back.

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