US sends P1-B worth of relief aid to ‘Odette’-hit areas

The United States government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has so far allocated PHP1 billion worth of humanitarian assistance to communities affected by last month’s Typhoon Odette.

The assistance was coursed through USAID’s food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene programs.

Among those distributed were 129,400 family food packs from the Department of Social Welfare to Caraga, Central Visayas, Mimaropa, and Western Visayas, and other parts of Luzon through 113 transport trucks with four mobile operations vehicles.

In partnership with the World Food Program, the international organization also set up 12 mobile storage units and operated one generator to create an emergency logistics hub in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte.

The USAID likewise augmented camp management support for the victims.

It has so far provided 1,800 shelter-grade tarpaulins for the evacuees of Southern Leyte, 1,000 in Dinagat Islands and Surigao del Norte, and 2,000 more to other typhoon-ravaged areas.

On Thursday, the US government sent an additional PHP950 million (USD19 million) worth of humanitarian aid.

In a statement, US Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Heather Variava, said the additional assistance will help deliver food and hygiene supplies and provide life-saving support.

“We stand steadfast with our longstanding friend, partner, and ally in helping support communities devastated by the typhoon,” Variava said.

The USAID earlier released PHP50 million (USD1 million) to support the emergency logistics efforts, ensuring assistance will be delivered to hard-to-reach areas.

Days after the Dec. 16 and 17, 2021 storm, USAID provided PHP10 million (USD200,000) for food, water, and hygiene supplies.

It also helped communities restore water supply and sanitation facilities as well as conducted a series of hygiene promotion activities.

Variava said she will also visit “Odette”-hit communities to inspect the ongoing US relief activities.

The US government vowed to continue helping the Philippines respond to natural calamities and to support disaster recovery efforts. (PNA)