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Pop star Bieber brings cheer in typhoon-hit Philippines

Canadian pop megastar Justin Bieber (C, black shirt) hugs a young survivor of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Palo, Leyte province on Dec 10, 2013. Bieber sang to and played basketball with young survivors of the Philippines' deadliest typhoon on Dec 10 afte
The Straits Times - December 11, 2013
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Pop star Bieber brings cheer in typhoon-hit Philippines

MANILA (AFP) - Pop megastar Justin Bieber hugged, sang to and played basketball with young survivors of the Philippines' deadliest typhoon today as he visited the disaster zone to boost an international relief effort.

Bieber flew unannounced to the central city of Tacloban just over a month after it was devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan and sang Christmas carols to children at a heavily damaged local school amid tight security, witnesses said.

"He sang Holy Night for the children," said Kate Donovan, a spokesman for the United Nations Children's Fund, one of three aid agencies expected to benefit from Bieber's charity work.

An AFP reporter said Bieber also played basketball at an improvised sandlot court with some of the young boys, later hugging some of them and posing for photos.

"Unicef is very pleased that Justin Bieber wanted to visit Tacloban, and stopped by City Central Elementary School which has suffered a great deal of structural damage," Unicef emergency coordinator Angela Kearney said. "Justin brought a lot of joy, hope and cheer to the hundreds of children who were there."

The money that would be raised would give child survivors access to education, vaccinations, clean water and sanitation, she said.

Prior to visiting the Philippines, Bieber, 19, had posted a message on fund raising website urging his millions of fans to donate to the victims of the typhoon, the strongest to ever hit land.

He said those donating to his cause could win a chance to personally see him record music next year.

"In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, its victims in the Philippines need our help - and they need it now," the Canadian singer said in his appeal.

Many other international celebrities have also lent their voices to the massive rehabilitation effort, including Grammy-award winning singer Alicia Keys who visited victims airlifted to Manila two weeks ago.



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