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UN to launch major aid appeal for battered Philippines

MANILA: The United Nations was Tuesday poised to appeal for hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency aid for the tyhoon-ravaged Philippines, as a massive international relief effort began to build momentum.

UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is in Manila to launch a “flash appeal” for cash, while the US and Britain deployed warships carrying thousands of soldiers to assist in a vast operation to help nearly 10 million people affected byFriday’s super typhoon.

After famished survivors ransacked aid convoys, Philippines authorities deployed armoured vehicles and set up checkpoints in the devastated city of Tacloban on Tuesday to stop desperate victims raiding food and medical supplies.

Almost 10 percent of the Philippines’ population have been affected after Super Typhoon Haiyan smashed into the nation’s central islands, leaving at least 10,000 people feared dead while 660,000 have lost their homes, according to the UN.

The Pentagon said the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, with 5,000 sailors and more than 80 aircraft aboard, will head to the United States’ close Asian ally from Hong Kong to join 180 US Marines assisting in the humanitarian efforts on the ground.

Britain boosted its aid to £10 million as Prime Minister David Cameron said HMS Daring, a destroyer, would sail to the Philippines “at full speed” from its current deployment in Singapore, joined by a Royal Air Force C-17 transport plane….

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