The typhoon’s givers and grinches

By John J. Metzler ,Special to The China Post\

UNITED NATIONS — Super Typhoon Haiyan, which swept across the central Philippines, left a brutal legacy of death, destruction and dislocation in its wake. The category-five storm which slammed into Leyte and Cebu directly confronted the global community with yet another gripping disaster in which 13 million people were affected, with over 4 million persons displaced and at least 4,000 dead.

Both U.N. humanitarian relief agencies as well as much of the world community sprung into action; a Typhoon Haiyan funding appeal for US$301 million was quickly supported by 40 countries. The United States, Britain and Australia lead the list with Canada and Japan as other major givers. Other countries, such as mainland China and many Arab states, have been found wanting. Equally, European Union states have donated both in their national capacity as well as in the European Commission basket. Significantly, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark offered significant aid and assistance too. Some smaller countries such as Israel sent a staffed 148-bed field hospital to operate on Cebu, Belgium and South Korea sent field hospitals and medical personnel, while Malaysia dispatched a field hospital and relief flights. Seeing the tragic pictures from the affected area, we can witness a true multinational help effort: C-130 cargo planes from the United States, the Royal Thai Air Force, Japan, Taiwan and Australia lumber in and out of Tacloban city in the epicenter of the destruction. United States Navy assets such as the aircraft carrier USS George Washington as well as a slew of support ships are on station along with an array of indispensable helicopter assets. Importantly, the U.S. Navy deployed six tactical water purification systems and Canada contributed additional two to help ensure a supply of vital fresh uncontaminated water.