On December 18, following a visit to storm-affected areas in Tacloban, Philippines, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the U.S. Government, through USAID, will provide an additional nearly $25 million in humanitarian aid. This additional assistance – which increases the total U.S. assistance package to more than $86 million for the relief effort – will provide additional food aid, shelter materials, clean water, and hygiene education and supplies for families affected by the typhoon, as well as protection for vulnerable populations. The Secretary also announced U.S. commitment to provide support to a microlending program and a public-private partnership with Coca-Cola and Proctor and Gamble, which would provide assistance to over 2000 small convenience stores to repair, restock and rehabilitate their shops. We will also conduct a feasibility study to develop Tacloban’s airport.
The United States Government emergency humanitarian aid is helping at least 3 million people with food assistance, as well as critically needed water containers, heavy-duty plastic sheeting for temporary shelters, and hygiene kits to prevent the spread of disease. The United States is also supporting programs that help with the identification, tracing, and reunification of unaccompanied children, as well as community-level measures to prevent and combat child trafficking. Supporting the larger U.S. government response in the days following the disaster, the U.S. military delivered immediate logistical, search and rescue, and transportation support and delivered additional relief commodities. In total the military transported more than 2,495 tons of relief supplies and evacuated over 21,000 people from some of the hardest-hit areas.
The United States has had a long partnership with the Government of the Philippines to improve disaster resiliency and risk reduction. The U.S. Government prepositioned disaster response experts in Manila before the storm made landfall and was among the first international responders on the ground to provide aid after the storm made landfall. The U.S. military also provided 24-hour logistical support for relief operations in the early days after the disaster.
In addition, the private sector – including many American firms – has provided substantial support to the people of the Philippines.