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In this Oct. 20, 2020, photo, a man in Navotas City braves the rain caused by Tropical Storm Pepito to sell recyclable materials to a junkshop.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
US grants third aid in 2 months to Philippines, this time for calamities
Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - October 20, 2020 - 6:26pm

MANILA, Philippines — The United States has extended P170 million in fresh assistance to the Philippines, this time to bolster the government’s ability to respond to natural disasters that gets complicated with the pandemic.

Funds would train local government officials in areas considered “highly prone” to calamities namely Metro Manila, Samar and Maguindanao and will be coursed through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

The grant will finance training for faster evacuation, early warning systems, and quicker delivery of relief to affected communities, while ensuring health protocols like social distancing are observed. 

“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 was quoted as saying in a statement by the US Embassy.

This is the third assistance USAID has granted Philippines in 2 months. In late September, the aid agency announced giving out $213 million to support health, education and environmental protection initiatives. Nearly a week ago, the finance department also announced a similar amount to build up public finance capacities and develop the capital markets, among others.

The aid was also timely as the Philippines deal with the expected damage from tropical storm Pepito, the 16th storm to have entered this year and is set to make its first landfall in Aurora province on Tuesday. On average, around 20 storms and typhoons visit the country every year.

“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,” Law said.

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