UN launches Philippines aid appeal

The UN has launched an appeal for $300 million to help relief efforts in typhoon-hit areas of the Philippines.

Valerie Amos, the UN's Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, has arrived in the country to head the aid operation.

The UN says nearly 9.8 million people are believed to have been affected by the storm and some 660,000 displaced.

On Monday it released $25 million from an emergency fund to address the immediate needs of survivors following the devastation caused by the super typhoon Haiyan which ripped through the Philippines over the weekend.

In a news briefing in New York, the Director of the Operation Division for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, John Ging, said the funds were released from the Central Emergency Response Fund "to enable humanitarian agencies to mobilise their response quickly."

Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, is the biggest typhoon recorded in almost a century.

Local officials estimate that some 10,000 people were killed in Tacloban alone, and the overall number is expected to increase as aid workers reach more affected communities.

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