Britain sending warship to aid Philippines relief efforts

Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is sending a navy warship with equipment to make drinking water from seawater and a military transport aircraft to help relief efforts in the Philippines, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday.

He said HMS Daring would provide humanitarian assistance and flights from its onboard helicopter while at least one Boeing C-17 military transport aircraft would be allocated to move humanitarian aid to areas that are most in need and hardest to reach.

"HMS Daring, currently deployed near Singapore, will shortly be heading at full speed towards the disaster zone with further support from an RAF (Royal Air Force) C-17 which will be a powerful help to the relief operation," Cameron told a dinner attended by business leaders in London.

HMS Daring is expected to reach the area in five days and the C-17 within the next few days. About 200 military personnel will be involved.

Britain has swiftly ratcheted up its response to the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that has killed an estimated 10,000 people, bringing its contribution since the disaster struck to 10 million pounds ($16 million).

Britain's Department for International Development on Saturday pledged an initial 6 million pounds ($9.6 million) to help get food, shelter and clean water to people in need.

(1 pound = $1.60)

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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