Updated Fact Sheet – U.S. Government Assistance to the Philippines for Typhoon Pablo Relief (December 12, 2012)
On December 5, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Brian L. Goldbeck declared a disaster due to the effects of Typhoon Pablo. Below is a summary of all activities undertaken by the U.S. Government to assist the Government of the Philippines with the disaster relief effort.
The U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID) plans to provide PHP 187 million in assistance to typhoon-affected individuals in the Philippines.
This funding will help address the humanitarian needs of typhoon-affected populations in Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, and Negros Oriental provinces, and will include support for emergency shelter, logistics, and water, sanitation, and hygiene activities, as well as the provision of emergency relief commodities.
USAID’s contribution also provides plastic sheeting for an estimated 20,000 families for emergency shelter support. The plastic sheeting will be handed over to the World Food Program for immediate distribution to displaced families in affected locations of Mindanao.
The U.S. military is providing air transport and other assistance in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) through the U.S. Department of Defense Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid (OHDACA) Program to support the relief effort led by the Government of the Philippines. U.S. Military personnel who were in the Philippines attending a planning conference for Balikatan 13 – the largest annual U.S.-Philippines military exercise, which will focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations – are now assisting with the response effort.
Between December 9 and 11, the U.S. military transported 14,700 family food packs, 500 hygiene kits, and 40 generators provided by Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development from Manila to Davao City via two C-130 airplanes. These flights are continuing now.
The U.S. military sent three water purification systems to Davao on December 7 for use in affected areas where access to safe drinking water is limited. Four experts in water purification are assisting with employment of these systems.
Personnel from the U.S. Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines (JSOTF-P) are assisting the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the relief efforts in Mindanao. A coordination team is currently in Mindanao to support the arrival, transfer, and onward movement of relief supplies to areas where it is most needed. Additionally, from December 10-12, JSOTF-P provided over nine hours of aerial assessment over Davao Del Sur, across Compostela Valley and along the east coast of Mindanao from Davao Oriental to Boston. These observations from the air provided over 600 images to advisers on the ground, in order to assess damage and facilitate follow-on distribution of relief aid and supplies to areas where it is most needed. JSOTF-P personnel continue to assist AFP ground forces in developing the situation in support of relief operations.
The United States has been a key partner of the Philippines in providing immediate humanitarian response during natural calamities. The U.S. Government is helping the Philippines cope with the effects of calamities by improving mechanisms to effectively adapt and respond to natural disasters. USAID has provided approximately PHP 615 million in disaster response assistance over the past five years to the Philippines. This includes responses to Tropical Storm Ketsana (Ondoy) in 2009, Typhoon Megi (Juan) in 2010, Tropical Storm Washi (Sendong) in 2011, and Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) in 2012.
Beyond donations for immediate disaster relief, the U.S. Government also supports efforts by local governments and communities to prevent and reduce the impact of typhoons and other natural disasters. In Fiscal Year 2012, USAID provided over PHP 167 million for disaster risk reduction activities in the Philippines.