November 19, 2013

Responding to Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines

The people of the Philippines and the surrounding area have been in my thoughts as they cope with the devastation created by Typhoon Yolanda, also known as Typhoon Haiyan. The storm created widespread flooding, landslides, storm surges and sustained winds that wreaked a terrible toll across the central Philippines. 

My deepest condolences go out to the families of the victims in this tragedy, and the survivors who have lost their homes or otherwise been impacted, as well as their families in New Mexico and around the world. I will do whatever I can to support the ongoing humanitarian aid efforts and assist in future reconstruction efforts as the Philippines and the surrounding areas begin to recover from this disaster.

In the wake of this tragedy, I have joined several of my colleagues in signing a Senate Resolution to express support for the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines and the surrounding region. The United States government's response to this tragedy so far has included over $37 million in aid, and military and civilian personnel have deployed to the Philippines to provide assistance and coordinate relief efforts.

The United States and the Philippines share a long tradition of mutual support and cooperation. The resolution supports the efforts of the government of the Philippines to lead and coordinate assistance to help people and begin reconstruction efforts. It also supports the ongoing efforts of the U.S. government, as well as the international community and private citizens.

The United Nations World Food Program has estimated that 2.5 million people will need food assistance in the aftermath of the typhoon, and hundreds of thousands of evacuees require temporary shelters and emergency relief supplies. If you would like to make a donation to support the relief efforts, please visit http://manila.usembassy.gov/disaster-assistance.html for information on how to contribute.