Monday, September 22, 2008

A USAID Press Release: Without Comment

From USAID Administrator, Henrietta H. Fore: Humanitarian Assistance to CubaSaturday September 20, 11:03 pm ET

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Cuba has suffered great damage from multiple hurricanes since the end of August. In response, the U.S. government has offered -- on four separate occasions -- to provide the Cuban people with up to $5 million in emergency humanitarian assistance to those in dire need. Some of this assistance will soon arrive through relief and humanitarian organizations on the ground. More is needed to help the Cuban people in the aftermath of these disasters.

Yesterday, the U.S. government made a fourth unconditional offer of aid: to provide relief supplies composed of family emergency shelters and household kits directly to Cuban relief services. Some of these kits include roofing materials and lumber for residential repair which will assist up to 48,000 Cuban people affected by the hurricanes.

Our offers of direct assistance are unprecedented. The American people want to help the people of Cuba. We want them to have critical assistance now. Moving humanitarian assistance to those who desperately need it should be everyone's top priority. The American people stand ready to help.

Note: This hurricane season has also devastated the neighboring island of
Haiti. The U.S. government has mobilized nearly $30 million for
food, shelter, water, and relief commodities (hygiene kits, water
jugs, plastic sheeting, mosquito nets, and cooking materials) for
the people of Haiti. Just last week, to facilitate the movement
and distribution of emergency relief supplies, the U.S. government
pledged $2 million for emergency repair to key bridges and roads.


U.S. Offers New Direct Humanitarian Aid to Cuban Government; Humanitarian
Organizations Set to Move U.S. Aid to Cuba

The U.S. Government has made a fourth offer of critical humanitarian assistance to the people of Cuba in the aftermath of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. In response to Cuba's humanitarian needs USAID is moving forward to provide up to $5 million in emergency relief to Cuban hurricane victims through international relief agencies and non-governmental organizations.
In summary, the U.S. government has officially offered assistance to Cuba on four separate occasions:

September 3, 2008: The U.S. government issued a disaster declaration (on
Hurricane Gustav) and provided $100,000 in cash
relief assistance to humanitarian organizations on
the ground.

The U.S. government also offered to provide a
humanitarian assessment team to assist in producing
rapid emergency assessments of health, sanitation,
water, shelter and food.

September 12, 2008: The U.S. government provided an additional $100,000
(on Hurricane Ike) in cash assistance to relief
organizations on the ground, and affirmed our
intention to channel assistance through international
organizations. The U.S. government reiterated its
offer to provide a humanitarian assessment team.

September 13, 2008: The U.S. government announced up to $5 million in a
relief package that included an unconditional offer
of humanitarian assistance to benefit 135,000 Cuban
hurricane victims. Despite the Cuban Government's
rejection of this offer, international relief
agencies and non-governmental organizations will
receive U.S. government funding for emergency relief

September 19, 2008: The U.S. government offered to unconditionally
provide additional relief supplies directly to Cuba
relief services at a value of approximately $6.3
million. These supplies are composed of family
emergency shelters and household kits which will
assist up to 48,000 Cubans affected by the

The U.S. government will continue to monitor the situation in Cuba. For more information about USAID and its programs go to .

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.

Public Information: 202-712-4810
(Boldface mine)

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