USAID gives additional $3-M financial aid to ‘Pablo’ victims

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/11 December) – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing an additional $3 million to address the humanitarian needs of typhoon Pablo victims in Mindanao and in the Visayas.


In a statement Monday, the United States embassy said the additional funding will include support for emergency shelter, logistics and water, sanitation and hygiene as well as the provision of emergency relief commodities.


The recipients will be the typhoon-affected residents of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces in Mindanao, and Negros Oriental province in the Visayas, the US embassy said.


The USAID earlier provided an initial $100,000 through the Catholic Relief Services for water, sanitation, and hygiene support and the provision of emergency relief items for the victims.


As of 6am Tuesday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that 714 persons were reported dead, 1,906 injured and 890 still missing, majority of them from Region XI.


Aside from the financial assistance, the U.S. government also sent military personnel to work side by side with Filipino troops in undertaking relief operations.


“US 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–were redirected to assist with the response effort and are doing so now,” the US embassy said.


Three water purification systems and an expert was sent to Davao on Friday to support the Filipino troops during relief operations, it said.


It added that two US C-130 planes arrived on Saturday in Manila from Okinawa and “US and Philippines military personnel worked side-by-side to load the first two C-130 flights to carry relief supplies to Davao.”


On the next day, the US Department of Defense in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines transported 5,800 family food packs from Manila to Davao City via C-130, the embassy further said.


The US Department of Defense plans to continue transporting relief commodities to assist the Philippine government through the week.


On the part of the Philippine government, the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided family food packs, which contain rice, noodles, and canned food to the victims of typhoon Pablo.


The USAID said it has maintained contacts with humanitarian partners and the Philippine government to monitor the impact and emerging needs resulting from typhoon Pablo. (MindaNews)