File photo courtesy of the Palawan PDRRMO.

The United States government is contributing an extra P950 million ($19 million) in humanitarian assistance to help communities devastated by Typhoon Odette, bringing total U.S. funding for this response to more than P1 billion or $20.2 million).

In a statement the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines released Wednesday, the U.S. government said the allocation will be through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

In a separate email to Palawan News, the U.S. Embassy Information Office said heavy-duty plastic sheeting materials have been distributed to meet the shelter needs of affected families to Palawan.

“USAID disaster experts continue to assess the needs and priorities on the ground as we receive reports from all affected provinces,” it said.

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The additional P950 million would be used to provide food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene initiatives to keep people healthy, and shelter support to satisfy emergency needs, and assist affected communities in beginning to rebuild their houses, according to the U.S. government.

“The United States is pleased to announce additional and significant assistance of P950 million, which brings our total amount of aid for Typhoon Odette to over P1 billion. We stand steadfast with our longstanding friend, partner, and ally in helping support communities devastated by the typhoon,” said U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires (CDA) ad interim Heather Variava.

“This additional assistance will help deliver food and hygiene supplies, and provide life-saving support to those most in need,” she added.

This fresh funding comes on top of the P50 million ($1 million) allocated earlier this week to boost emergency logistics operations to guarantee that aid reaches individuals in remote locations.

The assistance expands on the P10 million ($200,000) in aid provided by USAID immediately following the storm for food, water, and hygiene supplies; to restore water supply services and sanitation facilities; and to support hygiene promotion initiatives.

Variava plans to visit villages devastated by Typhoon Odette and view current U.S. relief efforts to demonstrate US solidarity on behalf of the American people.

USAID works year-round to help communities in the Philippines prepare for natural disasters. Through existing programs, USAID’s partners are transporting relief supplies, including enough food provided by the Philippine government to feed nearly 103,000 families.

USAID partners are also helping manage evacuation shelters, deploy mobile operations vehicles to support emergency telecommunications, and provide heavy-duty plastic sheeting to meet the shelter needs of 4,800 families.

The United States will continue to partner with the Philippines to respond to natural disasters and support Filipinos in their recovery efforts.

Since 2010, USAID has provided more than P17 billion ($340 million) in disaster relief and recovery aid and boosted the disaster risk reduction capacity of over 100 cities and municipalities in the Philippines.

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