U.S. Ambassador Visits Flood Victims in Rizal Province
August 16, 2012 -- U.S. Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. visited flood victims housed at Kabisig Elementary School today, and joined volunteers along with staff of Catholic Relief Services and the Diocesan Social Action Center (DSAC) of Antipolo in distributing essential household and hygiene items to evacuees at nearby the St. Francis Chapel in Cainta. Six hundred seventy-eight families from communities along the Manggahan Floodway are currently housed in Kabisig Elementary School.
Gloria Steele, Mission Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Joe Curry, Country Director of US-based non-governmental organization Catholic Relief Services (CRS) accompanied the Ambassador.
The U.S. Government last week provided US $100,000 (PHP 4.3 million) through CRS in support of disaster relief efforts in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces following severe flooding caused by the southwest monsoon. Funding for CRS was provided by USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) through USAID/Philippines.
Teams from USAID/OFDA recently completed assessments of conditions in the flood-affected areas. The U.S. Government is pleased to announce that The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has provided an additional $300,000 to CRS and $100,000 to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). This brings the total amount of relief assistance from the U.S. Government to $500,000. The CRS funds will provide victims of the recent flooding necessary relief items such as hygiene kits, jerry cans, and household kits. The contribution to WFP will be used to support the distribution of humanitarian assistance supplies.
CRS has been supporting emergency response to flood victims since August 7 with funds from the U.S. Government and complementary funding from CRS. In partnership with volunteers from the DSAC of Antipolo, CRS expects to finish distributing emergency non-food Items (household goods) and water/sanitation/hygiene kits to 2,000 households (10,000 persons) in evacuation centers by August 17.
In addition to immediate disaster relief donations, the U.S. Government is supporting efforts by local governments and communities to prevent, and reduce the impact of typhoons and other natural disasters. Earlier this year, USAID's Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) provided over US$ 4.1 million for Disaster Risk Reduction activities (DRR) in the Philippines.
This consists of:
US$3.75 million for community-based DRR activities carried out by the World Food Program (WFP);
US$ 200,000 to the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to improve humanitarian coordination in the Philippines;
US$ 170,000 for a program to train Local Government Units on the Incident Command System (ICS), a pre-defined chain of command system developed by the U.S. Forest Service designed to provide a common framework in which disaster responders can work together effectively.
Catholic Relief Services is one of the largest US-based international non-government organizations with operations in 100 countries. CRS has worked in the Philippines for 67 years and has its office in Intramuros. CRS Philippines currently employs more than 65 staff in three offices in Manila, Cagayan de Oro and Davao. CRS is currently implementing a USAID/OFDA funded program in Cagayan de Oro to provide transitional shelter for 1,423 families affected by Tropical Storm Washi. For more information about CRS programs in the Philippines, please visit http://crs.org/countries/philippines
The American people, through the United States Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for over 50 years. In the Philippines, USAID works in partnership with the national government in creating a more stable, prosperous and well-governed country through programs that promote broad-based and inclusive economic growth, increase peace and stability in Mindanao, and reduce risks from natural disasters. For more information about USAID’s programs in the Philippines, please visit http://philippines.usaid.gov or contact USAID/Philippines Development Outreach and Communications Unit at 552-9800 ext. 9811, fax 552-9899 or email email@example.com.