MANILA, Philippines – Citing the country’s strength and resilience at difficult times, the international community conveyed its sympathies to the Philippines on Saturday and expressed readiness to assist the country in recovering from what is likely to be staggering devastation caused by what has been described as one of the planet’s strongest typhoons of record.
In a statement from Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry cited the Filipino spirit in overcoming such challenges as he vowed to provide assistance to the Philippines.
“Your spirit is strong,” said Kerry, conveying the American people’s “deepest condolences and solidarity” with the country.
“Having so recently had my own visit to the Philippines prevented by another powerful storm, I know that these horrific acts of nature are a burden that you have wrestled with and courageously surmounted before,” said the official, who was forced to postpone a planned visit to Manila last month due to a storm.
He said the US embassies in the Philippines and Palau were working with the government to see how the US could help.
European Union Ambassador Guy Ledoux said the bloc would provide humanitarian aid to those affected by the typhoon as he expressed solidarity with the country.
“The Philippines has been severely tested by nature on several occasions this year. As it confronts yet another natural calamity I express my solidarity with the Filipino people and my deep sympathy with those who have lost their loved ones or their livelihoods,” Ledoux said in a statement.
Ambassador Asif Ahmad said the British government has dispatched a team to help assess the damage and needs of the typohoon victims.
“Yet again the resilience of the people of the Philippines is being tested in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. With our expression of concern and sorrow for the victims comes our assurance of help,” Ahmad said.
“A team is on its way from the UK to assess needs and then mobilize resources. The fortunate ones will be able to recover quickly but the most vulnerable people will need help to rebuild their shattered lives,” he said.
He called on British subjects in the country to “play their part in assisting the affected communities.”
Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell expressed concern for Filipinos and extended his country’s “heartfelt sympathies for the massive destruction.”
“Australia, as a close friend of the Philippines, is deeply concerned for the Filipino people at this difficult time. I admire the resilience and courage that Filipinos demonstrate under extreme pressure. I note that relief and recovery efforts are still ongoing in areas that were severely affected by the Bohol earthquake and the typhoon that also battered Northern Luzon just last week,” said Tweddell.
“The Australian Government is working closely with our partners, including in the Philippine government, to obtain more information on the impacts of the typhoon and the situation going forward,” he said.