Sunday, June 01, 2008

US Grants Philippines $.3 M to Combat Trafficking

US Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Ken­ney


The United States has approved a new grant amounting to $300,000 to combat human trafficking in the Philippines.

US Ambassador Kristie Ken­ney Saturday signed the grant agreement providing $300,000 in support of the anti-trafficking in persons efforts done by the group Visayan Forum Foundation (VFF). The group has received multiple grants from different US agencies for the past years.

The US Embassy said that development assistance from the US contributed more than $1 million to support anti-trafficking activities in the Philippines in 2006, that included $500,000 given to the VFF to operate halfway houses at several ports in different areas in the country. VFF Executive Director Cecille Flores-Obaenda co-signed the grant during a ceremony held at the Port Halfway House at the Batangas International Port.

According to the US Embassy, the funds will be used to support ongoing operations at the ports in Batangas, Davao, Manila and Sorsogon. VFF recently opened a halfway house in Zamboanga City.

"The battle against human trafficking is a high priority for the US government and the American people," the Embassy said in a statement.

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