Biden pledges $825-M aid to Asean countries | Inquirer News

Biden pledges $825-M aid to Asean countries

/ 05:15 AM November 16, 2022

President Joe Biden STORY: Biden pledges $825-M aid to Asean countries

US President Joe Biden (File photo by TOM BRENNER / Reuters)

MANILA, Philippines — The United States has promised to extend $825 million in assistance to Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines.

During the US-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit hosted by Cambodia, President Joe Biden said the 10-country bloc was “at the heart of my administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy” and promised to give the cash assistance to countries in the region in 2023.


The funds will come from the Department of State and the US Agency for International Development. It is meant to address common ambitions in the region such as upscaled climate change efforts, clean energy transition, strengthened health care, access to education, security modernization, rule of law, human rights, and others.


This is part of the efforts to elevate US-Asean relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Though Biden, erroneously called host Cambodia “Columbia” a few times during his visit, he wished to “build an Indo-Pacific that is free and open, stable and prosperous, resilient and secure”

According to the White House, all throughout the year, several Asean nations have met with US officials to discuss collaborating on programs in women empowerment and gender equality, security, and transportation.

The US-Asean Electric Vehicle Initiative was also launched by the Biden administration to effectively integrate electric vehicles (EV) in the region and reduce carbon emissions.

The initiative will support the planning and development of EV infrastructure, provide capacity-building and technical assistance and facilitate partnerships with US companies.

The US Department of Defense also plans to invest approximately $10 million every year in support of emerging Southeast Asian defense leaders. This aims to provide training to accelerate the defense sector professionalization and network building among Asean and US defense leaders.


While President Marcos was not able to have a one-on-one meeting with Biden during the summit, in his address, he called on the United States to step up cooperation in the fight “against illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing”

This while, Mr. Marcos hopes the code of conduct between the Philippines and China be finalized immediately to address the decade-long dispute over the West Philippine Sea.

Agriculture and sustainability

The United States also plans on investing $57 million for food security and access to clean water in Southeast Asian countries. Its “Food for School Feeding” program aims to provide meals to 109,000 Cambodian students for the next five years.

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It also plans to expand Philippine production of organic coconut products.


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TAGS: Joe Biden

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