Botswana + 3 more

Clinton Asks Congress for Emergency Assistance for Southern Africa

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News and Press Release
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Posted
Originally published
President Clinton April 21 asked the United States Congress to provide $200 million in emergency funding for Mozambique and other countries in Southern Africa for emergency disaster and reconstruction assistance expenses arising from cyclones Gloria, Eline, and Hudah and the associated flooding.

Following is the text of the White House statement, released in Washington:

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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

April 21, 2000

PRESIDENT CLINTON SEEKS $200 MILLION FOR EMERGENCY DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOR SOUTHERN AFRICA

April 21, 2000

President Clinton asked the Congress today to provide $200 million in emergency funding for Mozambique and other countries in Southern Africa to provide for emergency disaster and reconstruction assistance expenses arising from cyclones Gloria, Eline, and Hudah and the associated flooding.

The region of Southern Africa has been inundated in recent months with unusually heavy rain that caused both widespread human suffering and enormous damage to transportation infrastructure, water and sanitation systems, schools, clinics, and farms. Hardest hit has been Mozambique, which experienced the worst flooding in recorded history. While Mozambique continues to make great efforts to sustain its fledgling democracy and its program of market reforms, it is still one of the world's poorest countries.

The requested emergency funding will provide assistance for rehabilitation, reconstruction, and disaster mitigation. It will also restore authority for the Department of Defense (DOD) to draw down funds from existing accounts to provide for humanitarian relief operations.

Specifically, the package would provide funding for:

-- $10 million in international disaster assistance resources for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance to fund a variety of water and sanitation projects, seeds and tools packages, and small-scale infrastructure repair activities in Mozambique, Madagascar, and Botswana.

-- $131 million for Mozambique to repair and reconstruct vital road and rail lines, to rehabilitate the agriculture sector, and to restore health and education services.

-- $17 million for Madagascar to rehabilitate road and rail lines, improve telecommunications capacity, address the problem of poor water quality, improve child health, provide vulnerability mapping and recovery monitoring, and support economic recovery.

-- $15 million for South Africa for schools, health facilities and systems, and rural recovery.

-- $4 million for Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Botswana for housing, infrastructure repair, water treatment systems, and disaster preparedness.

-- $16 million for flood control and disaster preparedness for the region -- to mitigate the impact of, and improve the capacity of, Southern Africa to respond to future disasters.

-- $7 million to cover additional operating expenses of the U.S. Agency for International Development associated with implementing this large-scale reconstruction effort.

-- Restoration of the $37.5 million in DOD drawdown authority that was used for response to immediate humanitarian needs in Southern Africa.

In addition to this request, the United States is providing approximately $82 million from existing funds for Mozambique and the other affected countries in Southern Africa for the most urgent humanitarian and reconstruction requirements.

The President also asked the Congress to approve an FY 2001 amendment to allow the early disbursement of Foreign Military Financing Program funds for Egypt. This proposal would enhance military cooperation between Egypt and the United States and strengthen ties with a valuable coalition partner and strategic ally who plays a positive and indispensable role in the Middle East peace process.

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(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)