U.S. ups ‘Odette’ assistance PHL to over P1 billion
“The United States is pleased to announce additional and significant assistance of PHP950 million, which brings our total amount of aid for Typhoon Odette to over P1 billion. We stand steadfast with our long-standing friend, partner, and ally in helping support communities devastated by the typhoon,” US Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Heather Variava said in a statement.
Through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the additional aid will provide food, water, hygiene supplies, and shelter assistance to the affected population.
The new funding is in addition to the P50 million Washington DC announced earlier to support emergency logistics efforts to ensure aid is delivered to those in hard-to-reach areas.
The US Embassy in Manila said it also builds on the P10 million assistance that the USAID provided immediately after the storm for food, water, and hygiene supplies, as well as to restore water supply services and sanitation facilities, and support hygiene promotion activities.
Variava, meanwhile, is expected to visit communities affected by “Odette” and see ongoing US relief activities.
“Odette” made landfall on December 16, bringing in destructive winds and torrential rains. The latest government data showed that more than 4.3 million people were affected across 11 regions in 6,115 barangays, with a total of 397 reported casualties and 1,147 injured.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, more than 561,000 people have also been displaced with 305,229 people taking shelter in evacuation centers.
The embassy said Washington DC would continue to partner with the Philippines to respond to natural disasters and support Filipinos in their recovery efforts.
Through existing programs, the USAID’s partners are transporting relief supplies, including food provided by the Philippine government to feed nearly 103,000 families.
USAID partners are also helping manage evacuation shelters, deploy mobile operations vehicles to support emergency telecommunications, and provide heavy-duty plastic sheeting to meet the shelter needs of 4,800 families.
“We deeply appreciate the generous humanitarian assistance from the US Government following the destruction and desolation left behind by Typhoon Odette. This relief package will definitely alleviate the plight of the typhoon’s victims, especially during this holiday season. The Philippines has benefited immensely from its long-standing partnership with the United States in the area of disaster relief, reduction, and recovery.” said Ambassador Romualdez.
The U.S. Government’s donations will greatly support the communities affected by Typhoon Odette and the Philippine Government’s disaster response and recovery efforts. Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos found themselves homeless and in need of shelter, food and water this holiday season after Typhoon Odette struck the Philippines last 16 December. Odette was the 15th typhoon that hit the Philippines this year.
The U.S., through the USAID Philippines, has actively and consistently supported the Philippines during calamities and disasters through humanitarian assistance and capacity building. (Jeanne Michael Penaranda)