WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee, issued the following statement regarding Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan in the Philippines:
“I am deeply saddened to hear about the tragic loss of life, injuries and devastation sustained from Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan in the Philippines this weekend. The extent of the damage and loss of life is almost unimaginable, with 9.7 million people affected and reports of deaths ranging from between an officially confirmed estimate of over 1,700 to unofficial estimates of over ten thousand possible deaths. As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee, I have spoken with the Filipino Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Cuisia, Jr., and offered my personal condolences and willingness to help.
“The Philippines has long been a trusted, close U.S. ally. We share strong economic, security and people-to-people ties. I assured the Ambassador that I would look for every opportunity for Congress and the Administration to support a coordinated, international response that provides immediate disaster assistance and long-term support to rebuild affected communities. Already, the U.S. government is providing $20 million in humanitarian assistance to benefit typhoon-affected populations in the Philippines. We have also sent a USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team to conduct humanitarian assessments and assistance in heavily affected Leyte Province, and are coordinating our efforts with other international donors.
“Filipino Americans enrich our communities in my home state of Maryland and many communities throughout the United States. My heart goes out to them and their families. We will continue to stand by our good friends in the Philippines to help them recover from this terrible disaster.”