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US launches Environment and Youth Empowerment Initiatives for Phl

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United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Assistant Administrator for East Asia and the Pacific Sara Borodin visited the Philippines from February 20 to 23 to launch environment and youth empowerment initiatives that reaffirm the United States’ enduring commitment to the Philippines’ inclusive and resilient growth.

During her visit to Manila, Deputy Assistant Administrator Borodin joined Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) counterparts led by Country Director Kim Eunsub to announce additional waste collection and segregation facilities called “Eco-Ikot Centers” in Parañaque City and other parts of Metro Manila.  This initiative is part of the ongoing five-year, Php459-million ($8.2 million) partnership between KOICA, USAID, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to improve solid waste management, reduce landfill dependency, and mitigate pollution in Manila Bay and its surrounding areas.

“USAID is proud to partner with KOICA and the Philippines to address one of the greatest challenges of our time: reducing marine litter and protecting our oceans,” Deputy Assistant Administrator Borodin said.  “As your partner in prosperity, the U.S. government, through USAID, remains committed to working with you to help protect not just the environment, but more importantly the livelihoods, health, food security, and well-being of future generations of Filipinos.” 

USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator Sara Borodin (fourth from right), Mission Director Ryan Washburn (fifth from right), and other USAID representatives met representatives from a USAID-supported fishing association in Subic.

In Zambales, Deputy Assistant Administrator Borodin met with Philippine government representatives and the private sector to discuss shared milestones through USAID’s five-year, Php1.84-billion ($33 million) Better Access and Connectivity (BEACON) project, which has launched nine community networks powered by innovative space broadband technology and provided internet access to more than 1,500 households.   She also visited the Subic Fish Port, where she learned how USAID interventions have helped improve fishers’ income and resilience, helping them overcome the loss of livelihood resulting from overfishing in the South China Sea.

She also led the launch of  USAID’s five-year, Php1.6-billion ($30 million) U.S.-Philippines Partnership for Skills, Innovation, and Lifelong Learning (UPSKILL) Program that will bolster the global competitiveness of Philippine higher learning institutions.

Her other engagements include dialogues with USAID-supported upskilling trainees in Floridablanca, Pampanga, and former out-of-school youth in Valenzuela City.  She also explored capacity-building opportunities in disaster preparedness with officials from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

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