The Siargao Island Protected Landscape and Seascape three months after Typhoon Odette. The U.S. government, through USAID, is committed to helping accelerate rehabilitation efforts in the protected area known to exhibit wide biological diversity.

The United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will provide an additional P17.5 million to different provinces, including Palawan, as part of its assistance to areas damaged by typhoon Odette in December 2021.

According to a statement from the U.S. Embassy, civil society organizations working in Siargao Island, Dinagat Islands, Palawan, Cebu, Bohol, Southern Leyte, and mainland Caraga will receive P2.5 million each to implement projects to support local organizations and assess the extent of damage to ecosystems and wildlife habitats.

Organizations that will receive the funding are: Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, Nagkakaisang Tribu ng Palawan, Palawan Biodiversity Conservation Advocates, Sentro Para sa Ikauunlad ng Katutubong Agham at Teknolohiya, South Pacific Integrated Area Development Foundation, Surigao Economic Development and Microfinance Foundation, and World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines.

The embassy said that the new funding brings the total relief and recovery efforts of the U.S. government to P1.1 billion in the country.

This will also enhance their resiliency and recovery, and provide assistance to farmers, fisherfolk, and indigenous peoples whose livelihoods were destroyed by the typhoon.

“This additional assistance will help ensure that communities devastated by the typhoon not only receive immediate relief, but also long-term support that will have a significant impact on their lives and the environment on which they depend,” USAID Philippines Mission Director Ryan Washburn said.

Some of the focus of rehabilitation is on rebuilding livelihoods through biodiversity-friendly enterprises and supporting assessments to help local governments in their disaster risk reduction and management initiatives for coastal and terrestrial ecosystems that will help rehabilitate their natural resource base.

The U.S. government also committed to continuing the partnership with the Philippines in response to the disasters and support for the recovery efforts.

USAID has also provided more than P17.5 billion in disaster relief and recovery aid, boosting the disaster response capacity of over 100 cities and towns in the Philippines since 2010.

“We will continue to support the Philippines as it recovers from the massive damage to infrastructure, livelihoods, and ecosystems from Typhoon Odette,” Washburn added.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.