U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today announced an additional $5.2 million in disaster relief and recovery assistance to the Philippines. Speaking at Malanday High School in Marikina City, Secretary Clinton said the additional assistance will meet vital education, water and sanitation, health, and disaster preparedness needs. These funds are in addition to the more than $14 million in rescue and relief aid that the U.S. 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. 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.
Secretary Clinton visited Malanday High School, in one of the areas hardest hit by the floods. The school lies next to the Marikina River, which overflowed onto the school grounds. Secretary Clinton, along with U.S. Ambassador Kenney, Education Secretary Lapus, Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Cabral, and Marikina Mayor 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. Last weekend over 100 U.S. Embassy employees and family members worked side by side with Malanday community members to repair the schools and Health Clinic. The Community Partnership Program is a long-term initiative of the U.S. Embassy to participate in the local community as neighbors who work together to improve the health and vitality of Metro Manila.#