THE United States ambassador to the Philippines led the inauguration of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded classrooms and a livelihood training center in Leyte on Tuesday.
The US Embassy in Manila said this was Ambassador Sung Kim’s first trip to the province to visit the US Embassy-constructed facilities.
Kim was joined by Mayor Remedios Petilla in Palo town for the inauguration of nine classrooms in Anahaway Elementary School and Anahaway National High School.
The classrooms are designed to withstand high-velocity winds of up to 360 kilometers per hour and a magnitude 8.5 earthquake.
The ambassador was also welcomed by Tacloban City Mayor Cristina Romualdez during the turnover of the city’s training center.
Kim said the center is part of the US government’s broader initiative to help revive Leyte’s economy after Typhoon Yolanda destroyed the Eastern Visayas province .
The training center is expected to serve over 6,000 farmers, fisherfolk and entrepreneurs in the city and nearby areas.
More than P7 billion has been spent by the US government to bolster post-Yolanda recovery.
Implemented by Louis Berger Group Inc., USAID’s Rebuild project has constructed 310 classrooms and 30 livelihood support facilities to rehabilitate communities in typhoon-affected areas.
The USAID also built 12 health facilities and provided sustainable livelihood to more than 1,000 store owners, 1,400 local entrepreneurs and 10,000 farmers and fisherfolk.
“Our partnership has come a long way after three years. But what makes us truly proud is your courage and determination to rise above the adversity. Your stories are an inspiration to all of us,” Kim said during the inauguration.
LEANDER C. DOMINGO