President Barack Obama is urging Americans to support relief efforts as the Philippines recovers from a typhoon that killed thousands and left widespread damage.
"Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of the Philippines as they mourn so many loved ones and neighbors lost in the awful destruction of Typhoon Haiyan," Obama said in a statement. "Here in the United States, we’re offering our support to our fellow Filipino-Americans who are worried for family and friends back home. The friendship between our two countries runs deep, and when our friends are in trouble, America helps. That’s why, as I pledged to President Aquino yesterday, the United States will continue to offer whatever assistance we can."
Obama said he's encouraging Americans who want to help to visit whitehouse.gov/typhoon, which offers links to organizations working in the Philippines.
"With so many families and communities in the Philippines in urgent need of food, water, shelter and medicine, even small contributions can make a big difference and help save lives," Obama said.
He said USAID and military personnel are on the ground and "working around the clock." The first American planes carrying emergency supplies and food for 10,000 families have arrived, he said and U.S. ships, including the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, are on their way to help expand search and rescue operations, provide medical care and provide a platform for helicopters to move supplies to remote areas. "Recovering from one of the strongest storms ever recorded will take years," Obama said. "But the strength, resilience and faith of the Filipino people are legendary, and the areas affected by this storm are some of the same places where Americans and Filipinos sacrificed together to liberate the Philippines during World War II. Today, our message to our Filipino allies is that we stand with you once more. In the difficult days ahead, we’ll do our part to help you recover. And as you rebuild from this terrible storm, you will continue to have a friend and partner in the United States of America."