Tuesday, September 16, 2014

USAID monitors Yolanda aid closely; Goldberg 'satisfied'

From InterAksyon (Sep 16): USAID monitors Yolanda aid closely; Goldberg 'satisfied'

Officials of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) assured on Tuesday that it is closely following the use of funds donated for the rehabilitation of typhoon-Yolanda damaged Leyte Province.

In a press conference, Gloria Steele, the USAID mission director for the Philippines and the Pacific Islands, assured that the amount of $142.5-million in donations from the United States for the typhoon Yolanda survivors are being "constantly monitored."

US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg said that his government is "satisfied" with the process of how the Philippine government was allocating the USAID assistance.

The envoy also stressed that, on the part of USAID, there is no perceived misuse of money.

"The fact is that we believe every dollar of our money is accounted for and we are satisfied with the process that has gone on from our point of view," Goldberg said.

Steele noted that USAID was among the first of the bilateral donors to go to Leyte and deliver assistance to the areas affected by the monster storm.

The $142.5-million assistance is being used for both immediate emergency assistance and current assistance for recovery.

Steele disclosed that some of the money has been provided to the office of Rehabilitation Czar Panfilo Lacson to facilitate the completion of the 800-page rehabilitation plan that has already been turned over to President Aqiino.

Director Steele said that the USAID is building 10 clinics, 165 classrooms, 1,000 Sari-sari stores and helping to provide initial inventory for livelihood undertakings, along with Coca Cola and Procter and Gamble.

"We have put together a formal microfinance fund, and this aims to help communities get back on their feet," Steele said.

The USAID, she said, is also providng funding for anti-human trafficking activities.


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