US pledges $1.25-M assistance for Davao flood, landslide victims
THE United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAid), has pledged nearly P70 million ($1.25 million) in humanitarian aid to communities affected by the recent flood and landslide in the Davao Region.
USAid's commitment focuses on delivering emergency food, shelter, water, sanitation, and essential hygiene items to assist disaster-affected communities in Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, and Davao City in Mindanao.
“We are proud to partner with the Philippine government to support the immediate needs of Mindanaoans in the areas hardest hit by the flooding and landslides,” USAid Mission Director Ryan Washburn said.
“This support will help ensure that food and other life-saving supplies reach communities most in need,” Washburn said.
The funding aims to ensure that crucial supplies, including food, reach the communities most in need.
The U.S. government issued a "Declaration of Humanitarian Need" on February 8, facilitating support for the Philippine government's response efforts in Mindanao.
Last week, USAid collaborated with the Philippines Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and the International Organization for Migration to provide emergency shelter for over 5,000 affected individuals.
USAid also assisted the World Food Programme in transporting DSWD food packs to 65,000 families.
In addition to financial aid, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that two United States Marine Corps KC-130 "Hercules" cargo aircraft would join relief efforts in Barangay Masara, Maco, Davao de Oro province.
The aircraft will assist in delivering 15,000 DSWD food packs to families affected by a landslide in the area.
"In a collaborative effort between the United States Armed Forces and the AFP, two US Marine Corps KC-130J Hercules aircraft will be assisting in delivering supplies to the affected communities of the Masara landslide in Mindanao," AFP public affairs office chief Col. Xerxes Trinidad said in a statement.
The two aircraft are currently stationed at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, while the ongoing process of processing, weighing, and loading supplies is underway.
Trinidad stated that the plan is to conduct "four deliveries daily (two per plane) to ensure a consistent and steady supply to the affected areas."
"The US Marines from the III Marine Expeditionary Force will assist with the ongoing disaster relief mission with troops from the Marine Air Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing delivering essential supplies for distribution," he added.
The collaborative effort between the United States Armed Forces and the AFP underscores the shared commitment of the two countries to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as shown in the US-Philippines "maritime cooperative activity" (MCA) in the West Philippine Sea on February 9 to 10.
“Support to our allies and partners, and their people in a time of need, is non-negotiable,” U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Roger Turner, the III MEF commanding general said.
He added, “Working in direct coordination with USAID and the Government of the Philippines, we stand ready to support those who need urgent assistance.” Turner said.
As of Sunday, February 11, OCD has recorded a total of 113,463 families in the region have so far been affected by bad weather caused by the northeast monsoon and the trough of a low-pressure area. RGL WITH REPORTS FROM PNA, PR