As we commemorate Veterans Day here at home, the State Department is working with Team Rubicon to deploy a team of incredible, courageous American veterans to the Philippines and all the areas damaged by Typhoon Haiyan. Just as they did after Hurricane Sandy, these veterans will be using the skills they learned in uniform to help others recover from this terrible storm.
The State Department also is cooperating with the Philippines Typhoon Disaster Relief Fund established by The mGive Foundation, a U.S. nonprofit organization, to coordinate donations via mobile phones to benefit victims of the typhoon.
I want to assure the people of the Philippines and the many Americans of Filipino heritage that we are working as hard as possible to provide essential assistance to help the Philippine people and their government recover from this tragedy.
Since the start of this calamity, the United States has been working closely with our partners in the Philippines to provide rapid and effective relief. Our embassies in the Philippines and Palau are in close and constant contact with their partners in local governments to direct aid to the right places. When I spoke with Philippines Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario, I assured him of our full commitment to providing all necessary assistance.
A U.S. disaster assistance response team was among the first international groups to reach Leyte province, one of the hardest-hit regions. Experts from the U.S. Agency for International Development are working closely with Philippine agencies to evaluate the damage and identify the best ways to help those who have suffered losses from the storm. Within hours, the U.S. embassy in Manila provided substantial financial assistance for health, water and sanitation.
The U.S. government is organizing emergency shipments of critically needed material to provide shelter to the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos driven from their homes by this unprecedented typhoon. We are also organizing emergency shipments of food and hygiene supplies to thousands of families. Pentagon personnel are also deeply involved, providing logistical support to make sure relief gets to the right locations as quickly as possible. Non-governmental organizations, charities and private relief organizations are also on the scene.