US donates P164M more for ‘Pablo' victims

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Saturday, January 19, 2013


THE United States (US), through the United States Aagency for International Development (USAid), allocated an additional US$4-million assistance, or roughly P164 million, to further boost the Philippine government's response to the victims of Typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha) in Davao Region.

The aid was coursed through the United Nations World Food Programme (PFP) and brought the US government's total commitment to the Pablo humanitarian response to US$12.4 million, or around P508.4 million.

The latest contribution, given through the Emergency Food Security Program of USAid's Office of Food for Peace, enabled WFP to purchase 3,400 metric tons of rice enough to feed 170,000 people for two months.

Some P50 million of the assistance will be used to roll out cash-for-work activities for the affected residents, especially in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, two hardest hit provinces.

Gloria D. Steele of the US Embassy Manila and USAid Philippines mission director, led the handover of an initial 1,750 metric tons of rice at the DPWH Depot in Panacan Friday mornimg.

Joining Steele in the ceremony were Mindanao Development Authority executive director Janet Lopoz, DSWD regional director Priscilla Razon and WFP country director Stephen Anderson.

The balance of the contribution is expected to be handed over in February.

"This additional support will help thousands of affected Mindanaoans recover from the impact of the disaster and enable them to rebuild their lives," Steele said in a statement.

The U.S. assistance will also complement DSWD and WFP early recovery activities for affected communities through the cash-for-work (CFW) program, which will be rolled out in areas where local markets are functioning properly.

CFW aims to address immediate food security needs, while also stimulating the local economy in affected areas by giving communities the ability to purchase food items of their choice from the market.

"WFP warmly welcomes this timely and generous cash donation from the US Government, which will greatly boost our ability to flexibly support the Government of the Philippines in this enormous task of helping families and communities severely affected by Typhoon Bopha," Anderson said.

Razon expressed her deep gratitude to the US government for its help during a press conference before the handover ceremony.

"We acknowledged that you are the biggest donor," Razon told Steele.

Razon also reported that DSWD has already distributed close to 200,000 food packs to some 233,000 families in the areas hit by the calamity.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 19, 2013.

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