• ‘Pablo’ victims in Mindanao get more from Usaid

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    The United States Agency for International Development (Usaid) continues to provide for the victims of last year’s Typhoon Pablo in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental as it turned over educational materials worth P1.2 million, as well as seeds and fertilizers to the communities of the said provinces.

    In a statement, the US Embassy in Manila said that Usaid Mission Director Gloria Steele visited Compostela Valley on Friday to “reiterate the US government’s commitment to help rebuild the lives of Typhoon Pablo victims.”

    As part of its commitment to provide some P201 million in disaster recovery assistance for Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, the two provinces that suffered heavily from the onslaught of the typhoon, the US government handed out P1.2-million worth of educational materials to the teachers and students of Cabinuangan Central Elementary School.

    The Usaid also provided seeds and fertilizer that will benefit some 120 local farmers. Steele also led the groundbreaking of a P2.5 million trading facility.

    Also, Steele said the US government approved an additional P287 million to support disaster preparedness initiatives in the Philippines.

    “The US Government continues to work with the Philippine Government to help these provinces recover from the impact of the disaster and enable them to rebuild their lives.

    We will partner with local governments, schools and communities to develop disaster preparedness contingency plans, which will help them better prepare for disasters,” Steele said.

    With a student population of 1,500, the Cabinuangan Central Elementary School is among the 30 public schools in the provinces that will receive Usaid’s educational assistance packages that will include student and teacher kits, blackboards, school furniture and assorted reference materials.

    The trading center in Barangay Poblacion, called the Compos-tela Trading Center, is expected to benefit some 23,000 residents and to provide a “convenient and weather-resilient venue” for the farmers to consolidate and sell their products.

    The facility will also “spur economic activity in the area,” the embassy said.

    “The provision of farm production inputs supports the Usaid goal of helping typhoon affected communities, whose farmlands were heavily damaged by the typhoon, to access alternative farming and livelihood technologies,” the embassy said.

    “We mourn the loss of life and property, but we also celebrate the determination of the people of Compostela Valley and other affected areas to bounce back, rebuild, and persevere,” US Ambassador to Manila Harry Thomas Jr. added.

    Typhoon Pablo struck southern Philippines in December last year, just before Christmas Day. It caused extensive damage to properties, infrastructure and agriculture particularly in the municipalities of Compostela, Monkayo, Laak, Montevista and New Bataan in Compostela Valley and in Baganga, Boston and Cateel in Davao Oriental.

    Through the Usaid, the US government was able to provide P508.4 million in emergency humanitarian assistance that included emergency shelter, logistical needs, water, sanitation and hygiene activities. There was also a delivery of emergency relief commodities and rice.

    The Usaid, after the initial assistance, conducted an assessment of the needs of the provinces.

    “As a result, Usaid is providing educational resources for students and teachers, agriculture and livelihood skills training for communities, and building climate-resilient infrastructure designed to withstand extreme weather conditions,” the embassy said.
    Bernice Camille V. Bauzon

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