MANILA // The pop megastar Justin Bieber sang to and played basketball with young survivors of the Philippines’ deadliest typhoon on Tuesday after he flew into the disaster zone to boost an international relief effort.
Bieber flew unannounced to 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 spokeswoman for the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), one of three aid agencies expected to benefit from Bieber’s charity work.
Bieber also played basketball with some of the boys, and posed 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,” the agency’s 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.
Before visiting the Philippines, Bieber had posted a message on fund raising website Prizeo.com urging his millions of fans to donate to the victims of the typhoon, the strongest to ever hit land.
* Agence France-Presse