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US provides P201-M more to PH vs. virus

The American Embassy in the Philippines announced that it is providing an additional P201 million ($4 million) to help support the vulnerable individuals in Mindanao amid the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing its help to the country about P978 million ($19.5 million).

In a press statement on Friday, the US embassy said that Ambassador Sung Kim met online with Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) officials, led by Chief Minister Ahod ‘Al Haj Murad’ Ebrahim, chair the BARMM Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19, and reiterated US commitment to partnering with the Philippines to address COVID-19 in the region.

The meeting provided an opportunity for BARMM leadership to discuss challenges and present its COVID-19 contingency plan, while Ambassador Kim and US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Lawrence Hardy provided updates on the COVID-19 assistance of his country to the Philippines.

“In these trying times, I am inspired by the resilience and courage of the Filipino people,” said Kim. “The United States and the Philippines have met and overcome many challenges together, and I am confident that working together we will overcome this challenge as well.”

With the additional $4 million in humanitarian assistance, USAID will protect the vulnerable – those displaced by conflict and the recent earthquakes in Mindanao – from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

USAID and its partners will work with local governments, local health authorities, and communities so that vulnerable populations have access to the most accurate and up-to-date health messages.

USAID partners will reach over 100,000 persons with distributions of essential hygiene supplies, handwashing stations, hygiene promotion to reduce transmission risk and help communities re-open.

USAID will also continue to provide vital water supply in transitory sites in Lanao del Sur for families displaced by the Marawi Siege and in North Cotabato for earthquake-affected communities.

The United States has provided more than P228 billion ($4.5 billion) in development assistance to the Philippines over the past 20 years, including over P29 billion ($582 million) in health assistance.

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