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Secretary Kerry Announces Additional U.S. Aid To Typhoon-Hit Philippines

“After touring miles of roofless homes and shattered shantytowns destroyed by one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday announced that additional American humanitarian aid would be sent to the Philippines and described the giant typhoon as a warning of future extreme weather in a warming world,” the New York Times reports. “Saying that Tacloban still looked like a war zone despite nearly six weeks of recovery efforts, Mr. Kerry announced that Washington would donate $24.6 million immediately for typhoon relief on top of the $62 million in aid already supplied by the United States,” the newspaper notes (Bradsher, 12/18). “Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest ever to hit land, wiped out almost everything in its path when it crossed the central Philippines last month, killing at least 6,069 people, and leaving nearly 1,800 missing and four million with partially or totally damaged homes,” according to Reuters (Francisco/Wroughton, 12/18).

“In the days after the typhoon, Tacloban was critically short of water, food and fuel — basic needs that have since been restored,” the Washington Post reports, adding, “The United States sent search-and-rescue teams, humanitarian workers, more than 50 aircraft and sea vessels, and 1,000 soldiers and Marines” (Harlan, 12/18). “President Benigno Aquino announced an $8.1 billion government plan Wednesday to rebuild storm-ravaged communities. He also issued a new appeal for international aid to help with the reconstruction,” VOA News writes (12/18). “‘The task immediately before us lies in ensuring that the communities that rise again do so stronger, better and more resilient than before,’ [Aquino] told foreign diplomats and aid officials in Manila,” Agence France-Presse reports (Directo, 12/18).