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.
How You Can Help
U.S. wireless subscribers can text AID to 80108 to give a $10 donation to the mGive Philippines Typhoon Disaster Relief Fund.
Donations will be collected from the U.S. wireless carriers by the mGive Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 public charity that empowers text donation campaigns across 60 U.S. wireless carriers -- providing access to 99 percent of all mobile phone users. Donations made to mGive will be distributed to relief organizations supporting Philippine Typhoon response and recovery. For more information visit, www.mgive.org.
You can also contact the Center for International Disaster Information to learn where to donate and visit the following sites for lists of organizations responding to Typhoon Haiyan:
About the Author: John Kerry serves as the 68th Secretary of State.