Obama pledges aid in call to Aquino

 

President Obama called Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday to express America's “deep condolences” and offer more help after a devastating typhoon left more than 10,000 people dead.

“President Obama discussed with President Aquino the need for a speedy assessment of what further American resources would be most helpful to assist in the Philippine recovery effort,” the White House said in a summary of the call. “In the days ahead, the United States will continue to work with the Philippines to deliver whatever help we can, as quickly as possible.”

The U.S. Agency for International Development on Monday already pledged more than $20 million in emergency aid for shelter, food, water and sanitation. And the U.S. military is sending the aircraft carrier USS George Washington and a contingent of sailors and Marines to help with the relief effort.

The Philippines is a strategic U.S. ally in the western Pacific. Manila has asked for a beefed up U.S. presence in the country to help contain China's rising power, two decades after shutting down U.S. military bases on the island nation.

Here's the full readout of Tuesday's call: 

Today President Obama spoke with President Aquino of the Philippines to express deep condolences on behalf of the American people for the lives lost and damage caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, one of the strongest storms to ever hit land.   Over the weekend, the President directed the Administration to mount a swift and coordinated response to save lives and provide assistance to alleviate the suffering of so many Filipinos.  President Obama discussed with President Aquino the need for a speedy assessment of what further American resources would be most helpful to assist in the Philippine recovery effort.  In the days ahead, the United States will continue to work with the Philippines to deliver whatever help we can, as quickly as possible.  The President affirmed that the thoughts and prayers of the American people go out to the millions of people in the Philippines affected by this devastating storm. 

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