Sep 12, 2013

US earmarks P26.4 million for Zamboanga aid

The United States government has set aside $600,000 (roughly P26.4 million) to help address the immediate needs of some 14,000 citizens displaced by the ongoing crisis situation in several areas of Zamboanga City.

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, the US Embassy in Manila said the emergency assistance, which will be released through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is an expression of concern for the well-being of the people of Zamboanga.

“The United States has always been there for the Philippines in times of need, and we continue that tradition today for those suffering in Zamboanga,” said US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr.

According to Ambassador Thomas, through its local partner Growth With Equity in Mindanao (GEM), USAID has procured 5,000 bottles of water, 1,500 sleeping mats, blankets, tooth brushes, toothpaste, buckets, and canned goods for distribution to those in need.

He said the USAID expects to procure a total of 10,000 units of these items to help meet the needs of evacuees.

Additionally, Thomas disclosed that USAID is supporting the local construction of 40 portable toilets and is providing four 500 gallon water tank to ensure better sanitation and access to water for those who have been displaced.

He pointed out that the delivery of these items has been coordinated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) with the support of the US Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P).

“This coordination of Philippine and US partners for the assistance of people in need, is an example of the close working cooperation between both countries,” Thomas declared as he revealed that the items sent were requested by the local government of Zamboanga City.

“While we continue to pray for calm to prevail and for a peaceful and speedy resolution to this crisis, we are proud to be able to work beside our Philippine colleagues in time of need,” the top US diplomat in the country stated. “I want to commend the people in the local community who are banding together through social media and other means to help their friends and neighbors.”
- source


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