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Haiti - USA : Over 480 tons of U.S. aid
09/10/2016 09:52:38

Haiti - USA : Over 480 tons of U.S. aid
Saturday the first two cargo planes of humanitarian aid from the United States have arrived at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport in the presence of U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, Peter Mulrean and de facto President Jocelerme Privert.

Note that this is the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) that will route to Haiti aboard 5 cargo aircraft, more than 480 tons of humanitarian aid including : 40,000 blankets, 20,000 hygiene kits, nearly 18,700 kitchen sets, and 3,500 rolls of heavy duty plastic sheeting to provide for emergency shelter needs. These supplies, which will be transported aboard five cargo planes, are expected to benefit up to 100,000 people. Other flights should arrive in the coming days

In his speech on the tarmac at the airport Ambassador Peter F. Mulrean declared at a press conference :

"I am honored to be here with Provisional President Privert for the arrival of the first shipments of humanitarian relief supplies from the United States. What you see behind us is one of five 747 cargo plane deliveries of more than 480 metric tons of supplies to help an estimated 100,000 people. I accompanied Provisional President Privert on a flight over the affected areas in the southwest on Wednesday http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-18837-haiti-politic-privert-overflight-the-great-south.html . What we witnessed was devastating – houses, public buildings, roads, crops and trees damaged or destroyed by heavy rains, wind and flooding.

The effect of Hurricane Matthew on Haiti is catastrophic. The United States is deeply saddened by the growing number of fatalities http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-18870-haiti-flash-new-death-toll-336-victims-official.html . I would like to stress the important role that the Government of Haiti played to ensure that the number of casualties was not higher. Its warnings and communication efforts urging people to evacuate to safer areas, and its provision of shelters saved many lives. Nevertheless, 1.5 million people have reportedly been affected by the hurricane and 350,000 are in need of immediate assistance. Our general assessment is that priorities for immediate assistance are food, water and sanitation, emergency shelter, and critical health care for communities, particularly in the regions of Grand'Anse and South.

My colleague, and great expert on disaster response, Tim Callaghan from USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, is the leader of our Disaster Assistance Response Team, which numbers nearly 50 experts in all aspects of relief. We are also benefiting from the unique capabilities of the US Department of Defense to help support efforts. A Joint Task Force led by Rear Admiral Pringle has been established to support Tim's team to deliver critical supplies and humanitarian personnel to areas cut off by the storm. The Joint Task Force is already providing nine helicopters and military personnel. The US Coast Guard is also providing both sea and air assets to support relief efforts.

The Government of Haiti is leading the humanitarian response effort and the United States is committed to supporting Haiti's plan and we are working in full coordination with the Department of Civil Protection. Our two countries are partners and share a long and deep friendship. The efforts of the United States today and in the coming weeks and months are a natural manifestation of that friendship."

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