Monday, 26 October 2009

USDA announces USD8.5-M in commodity aid to RP typhoon victims

MANILA (PNA) -— Plans for a USD8.5 million assistance for Philippine typhoon victims were announced on Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under its Food for Progress Program (FPP) by Secretary Tom Vilsack, at his meeting with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Malacanang.

The commodity donation is estimated to provide food to about 438,000 persons for 60 days, according to an announcement from the USDA in Manila.

Today’s FPP allocation is about 7,000 metric tons of U.S. rice and 680 metric tons of U.S. produced non-fat dry milk. According to the USDA, the commodities would be processed into UHT (ultra-high temperature) milk and biscuits for the victims.

The aid “will help the people in the most need of assistance and as a long-standing friend and partner of the Philippines, the United States stands ready to continue our cooperation and assistance in the future,” Vilsack said in announcing the food aid.

Earlier, Vilsack met his counterpart, Secretary Arturo Yap. Both agriculture chiefs are scheduled to distribute food donations this afternoon to school children of Sagad Elementary at Bagong Ilog in Sagad Pasig City.

The Philippines is the largest recipient of USDA food aid in Asia since 1995, with FPP assistance totaling USD217-million since 2000, according to USDA.

This year alone, USDA signed three FPP agreements with the Philippines for a total USD25-million. FPP has been in existence in 24 years.

Vilsack is winding up a four-day visit to the Philippine, at the head of an American trade and commercial delegation meeting Philippine producers, processors, traders and investors.

On Sunday, he visited the International Rice Research Institute in Los Banos, Laguna. His delegation proceeds to China. (PNA)

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