Typhoon Haiyan: UK charity appeal raises £50m

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Media captionThe BBC's Jonah Fisher reports from HMS Illustrious in Singapore, which is being loaded with supplies

An appeal by UK charities to help Philippines typhoon victims has raised £50m in eight days.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), a group of 14 aid charities, said the public was continuing to give with "amazing generosity".

It has helped more than half a million people affected by the typhoon, which killed more than 3,600.

The DEC said its focus was on reaching some of the more remote areas, which have yet to receive the charities' aid.

The group, which launched its appeal on 12 November, said donations were already helping to pay for some of the aid being delivered.

But DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said: "We can and must do more."

Reaching the more remote areas was proving to be a huge challenge, the DEC said, as a result of debris on the roads, access to ports and airports.

'Years to recover'

More than 13 million people are now known to be affected, with 4 million forced from their homes and more than a million houses either destroyed or damaged.

The immediate need is for clean water, sanitation, food and medicines to prevent diseases, but agencies will also be helping people get their lives back to normal.

Image caption UK government aid is helping people in devastated villages on Guintacan island

Mr Saeed said: "It will take months and years for people to recover and we will immediately start helping people with better shelter and the means to rebuild their lives."

The UK government is providing more than £50m in humanitarian support to help aid get through to hard to reach areas.

UK aid supplies and medical assistance has arrived in some of the remote areas that aid agencies have so far not been able to reach, the Department for International Development said on Monday.

A Lynx helicopter from HMS Daring transported humanitarian experts, medical teams and supplies to remote islands, including Guitacan Island.

The crew has already distributed 200 shelter kits and repaired a school roof.