Manila-The United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing nearly P70 million ($1.25 million) in humanitarian aid to respond to the needs of communities affected by severe flooding and landslides in Mindanao.

This new funding will provide emergency food, shelter, water, sanitation, and essential hygiene items to support disaster-affected communities in Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, and Davao City in Mindanao. USAID will partner with Catholic Relief Services and Action Against Hunger to ensure this life-saving assistance reaches the most vulnerable groups, including single-parent households, persons with disabilities, pregnant and lactating women, the elderly, low-income families, and indigenous peoples.

In addition, and at the request of the Philippine government, the U.S. Department of Defense, through the III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF), provided two C-130s to assist the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Philippines Office of Civil Defense, and USAID in delivering 15,000 DSWD food packs to affected families.

Last week, USAID partnered with the Philippines Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development and the International Organization for Migration to provide emergency shelter for more than 5,000 affected persons. USAID also supported the World Food Programme to transport DSWD food packs to 65,000 families.

The United States government issued a “Declaration of Humanitarian Need” on February 8 that will facilitate support for the Philippine government’s response efforts 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,” said USAID Mission Director Ryan Washburn. “This support will help ensure that food and other life-saving supplies reach communities most in need.”

“Support to our Allies and partners, and their people in a time of need, is a non-negotiable,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Roger Turner, the III MEF commanding general. “Working in direct coordination with USAID and the Government of the Philippines, we stand ready to support those who need urgent assistance.”

Between January 28 and February 2, extensive rainfall in Mindanao caused significant flooding and landslides, impacting nearly 1.2 million people. An estimated 795,000 people were displaced with more than 97,600 people sheltering in 380 evacuation centers across Mindanao.

USAID works year-round to help communities in the Philippines prepare for and be more resilient to natural disasters. The United States will continue to partner with the Philippine government to respond to natural disasters and support the people of the Philippines in their recovery efforts. (PR)