The United States promised $10 million in additional aid to the storm-stricken Philippines Monday, bringing the total U.S. contributions since Typhoon Haiyan to $37 million.
About 50 U.S. ships and aircraft carriers have been mobilized in the disaster zone, and 14 helicopters are air-dropping food and supplies to survivors, Reuters reports. The nuclear-powered USS George Washington led the American relief effort after Typhoon Haiyan slammed the Philippines on Nov. 8.
The Philippines has strategic importance to the U.S. as part of the Obama administration’s plans to counterbalance China’s rising military influence with strong American allies in the region. The U.S. and the Philippines are in the middle of negotiating an increased American military presence in the country.