The United States government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided an additional PHP170 million (USD3.5 million) to bolster the Philippine government’s capacity to help protect high-risk communities against the impacts of natural disasters, the US Embassy in Manila announced Tuesday.
The new assistance would focus on communities in Metro Manila and the provinces of Northern Samar and Maguindanao that are highly prone to frequent earthquakes, typhoons, and floods.
“Through this assistance, we hope that Filipino communities are able to prepare, mitigate, and recover quickly from the negative impacts of natural disasters,” US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law said.
“As a friend, partner, and ally of the Filipino people, we are proud of our partnership with the Philippine government and the great strides we have made to boost the country’s resilience against natural calamities,” he added.
Through the funding, the USAID will boost the capacity of community leaders and local governments to mitigate disaster risks, improve early warning systems, and develop better protocols for more rapid disaster responses.
The agency would also train evacuation center managers to organize safe evacuations that include safeguards and social distancing.
The announcement coincides with the Oct. 13 commemoration of the International Day for Disaster Reduction, which encourages citizens and governments to take part in building more disaster-resilient communities and nations.
Citing the 2019 Asia Pacific Disaster Report, the embassy said the Philippines’ multi-hazard average annual loss is estimated at USD20 billion, with 75.8 percent of the country’s total population living in high-risk areas.
Since 2010, USAID has provided PHP16.5 billion (USD340 million) in disaster relief and recovery assistance for more than 100 cities and municipalities in the Philippines, the embassy said. (PNA)
Photo Credit: www.ph.usembassy.gov