Monday, November 25, 2013

U.S. congressmen back PHL-led post-Yolanda reconstruction

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 25): U.S. congressmen back PHL-led post-Yolanda reconstruction

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives expressed their strong support for Philippine humanitarian relief operations as well as upcoming reconstruction and rehabilitation plans of the government in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) and members of the U.S. congressional delegation (CODEL) conveyed this support during a courtesy call on Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario in the DFA today.

Smith, House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations (SAGHGHRIO), led the CODEL to the Philippines to look at humanitarian assistance coordination and health situation related to Typhoon Yolanda relief operations.

Representative Al Greene (D-TX) and Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) joined Smith in the CODEL.

During the courtesy call, the CODEL expressed their sympathies for the Philippines in this time of tragedy.

Secretary del Rosario conveyed to the CODEL his appreciation for the immediate and overwhelming humanitarian assistance from the United State in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

“We thank the United States for sharing their unique airlift capabilities in order to get to hard to reach areas immediately after typhoon hit the Philippines. Now, access to affected areas has tremendously improved and Philippine forces and humanitarian assistance are reaching more people,” Del Rosario said to the CODEL.

The CODEL discussed with the Secretary the way forward in reconstruction and rehabilitation of affected areas and how the U.S. can further help.

“Now as we move from short-term relief to long-term rebuilding, I expressed to the CODEL that the Philippine government is in the process of drafting rehabilitation and reconstruction plans for affected areas. I emphasized the importance of U.S. development assistance dovetailing our reconstruction plans,” commented del Rosario.

“Indeed, the loss of lives and devastation brought by Typhoon Yolanda is sad and unfortunate. The Filipino people continue to be resilient and will rise above this tragedy. It will be a daunting task."

"We are blessed that we have a reliable ally like the United States to help us rise above this crisis. Ours is a history of standing together, steadfast and resolute. Ours is a partnership, firm and unwavering. Once more we lock arms to defeat despair and to bring hope,” Del Rosario added.

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