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Big Lottery Fund Assists Philippines

Big Lottery Fund Assists Philippines
Updated: Tuesday 8th April 2014

Lottery players in the UK who keep abreast of the news can’t fail to have seen the devastation that was recently caused in the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan and the storm surge that followed it. Official figures say that more than 3,900 people have been killed, over 1,180 are missing and around half a million people have been left homeless. Now, the Big Lottery Fund has announced that up to £5 million is being made available through its International Communities programme to support UK charities that are providing assistance in the affected areas.

Everyone who plays lottery games in this country is used to seeing a percentage of money raised from ticket sales go to a variety of good causes, and the devastation in the Philippines made players keen to see funds going in that direction. More than 150,000 EuroMillions players in the UK recently signed a petition asking for the £12 million jackpot that wasn’t won on Tuesday 12 November to be used to provide disaster relief, but unfortunately that was never going to be a possibility. The EuroMillions game is played in nine countries, so UK lottery organisers don’t have the authority to divert funds in that way, no matter how strong public opinion may be.

The good news is that the Big Lottery Fund can step in to help, and it was as keen to do so as the rest of the nation. ‘Like millions across the country I was shocked by the scenes of devastation and despair broadcast on our screens in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan,’ said Peter Ainsworth, Chair of the organisation. 

‘The Big Lottery Fund’s mission is to support people and communities most in need and it is therefore important that we are able to respond in this way, complementing and adding value to others already working to support the rebuilding of communities and infrastructure in the Philippines.’

Peter continued: ‘I want us to work with those UK bodies on the ground in the Philippines to establish how best we enable them to help communities to rebuild their lives. Once we are clear what is needed, we will make sure that our funds flow to those projects which will have the most impact.’

We applaud this move by the Big Lottery Fund and we hope that it helps the communities of the Philippines to recover from the Typhoon Haiyan disaster as quickly and fully as is possible under the circumstances.

Written by Tony Sharpe

Published: Wednesday 20th November 2013

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