The United States is providing an additional $800,000 (PhP34.4 million) to address the immediate needs of victims of Tropical Storm Sendong in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City in Mindanao.
This funding augments initial assistance of $100,000 (PhP4.1 million) provided by the U.S. Government through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). The funds will be used to support ongoing emergency relief and early recovery operations by the Philippine Government in disaster-stricken areas.
Earlier this week, an assessment team from USAID/OFDA visited flood-affected areas of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City. Based on their assessment and discussions with Philippine authorities on the ground, they determined that the additional United States Government funding will provide for logistical support for water distribution and temporary shelter materials.
In addition to the above-mentioned assistance, to help meet the critical need for potable water in flood-stricken areas, the U.S. Marine Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC) are working with the National Development Support Unit (NADESCU) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to bring in three high-capacity water purification units capable of processing 13,000 gallons of water per day. MARFORPAC is also providing technical experts who will assist the AFP in the deployment and operation of these units. The United States Joint Special Operations Task Force–Philippines (JSOTF-P) responded to calls for immediate assistance on December 18th with the loan of two 15-foot Zodiac rubber boats with 55hp outboard engines to the Naval Special Operations Unit (NAVSOU) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to support early search and rescue operations.
“The United States applauds the rescue, relief, and recovery efforts undertaken by Philippine civilian and military authorities. We continue to dialogue with appropriate Philippine Government agencies and others to determine what additional assistance might be necessary. While we believe that the resilience of flood-affected communities will eventually prevail, the U.S. Government and the American people are committed to providing further assistance as requested and where needed to ensure that survivors can get back on their feet and start anew." Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. said.
For 50 years the United States has been a key partner of the Philippines in providing immediate humanitarian response during natural calamities.