ATEEL, Davao Oriental - United States Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas, Jr. personally turned over to the World Food Program (WFP) and the provincial and local officials here yesterday a total of 2.1 million kilos of rice as food assistance to residents severely affected by typhoon 'Pablo' in Mindanao.
In a formal turn-over activities here, Thomas extended, in behalf of the people of United States, condolences to residents whose family members lost their lives during the typhoon.
"Our thoughts and prayers and continuing for those affected," he said.
Thomas said he personally surveyed the damage of typhoon 'Pablo' in December last year in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley and had announced that the American people would donate 2.1 million kilos of rice to the affected residents.
Ambassador Thomas also announced the US government would provide an additional P246 million ($6 million) assistance for the disaster risk reduction (DRR) initiatives for the affected areas.
The DRR assistance will bring disaster risk reduction programs to local government units and communities, including Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.
The program will include trainings for communities on how to set up disaster early warning systems, develop contingency plans for evacuation, and establish structures to quickly and appropriately respond when disaster strikes.
"We sincerely hope that our assistance will help meet the crucial needs of the most affected Filipinos and support their recovery. We truly applaud your unsinkable and steadfast bayanihan spirit," Thomas said.
He stressed that the US government is always ready to partner with the Philippine government to carry out mid-term and long-term recovery efforts in the areas of health, education, small-scale infrastructure reconstruction, and environmental activities.