Clinton pledges $5.2-M additional storm aid


Posted at Nov 12 2009 06:52 PM | Updated as of Nov 13 2009 03:16 AM

MANILA - United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced an additional $5.2 million storm aid for Luzon, pledged by the US government.

Clinton announced the additional aid, which will be directed to the victims of tropical storm Ondoy (international code name Ketsana), during a stop at the Malanday High School in Marikina City.

"Secretary Clinton said the additional assistance will meet vital education, water and sanitation, health, and disaster preparedness needs," a statement from the US Embassy in Manila said.

These funds are reportedly in addition to the more than $14 million in rescue and relief aid that the US government has already provided in response to the three massive storms that devastated parts of the Philippine island of Luzon in the last six weeks, the statement said.

Secretary Clinton is visiting the Philippines on a two-day trip to show solidarity with the Filipino people in the wake of Tropical Storm Ketsana (local name Ondoy), Typhoon Parma (Pepeng), and Typhoon Mirinae (Santi), which have affected over 10 million people and claimed almost a thousand lives.

During the visit to the school, one of the worst hit by the storm, Clinton, along with US Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney, Philippines' Education Secretary Lapus, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Cabral and Marikina City Mayor Marides Fernando opened a Book Fair.

The American Brother's Brother Foundation, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), donated 50,000 reading books to Malanday High School and Elementary School teachers. The teachers were able to select books along with other materials donated by USAID, such as desks and ceiling fans, to gain a new start after the floods.

The Malanday High School, Elementary School and Health Clinic are part of the U.S. Embassy's Community Partnership Program, the embassy statement added.