Statement by USAID administrator Gayle Smith on escalating humanitarian response to Hurricane Matthew
For Immediate Release
Saturday, October 8, 2016
USAID Press Office
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: USAIDPressOfficers@usaid.gov | Twitter: @USAIDPress
As countries throughout the Caribbean and humanitarian agencies on the ground begin to assess casualties and damage caused by Hurricane Matthew, USAID joins millions of Americans and people around the world in expressing our deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones. The United States is committed to supporting our neighbors in the aftermath of this disaster, and we are working around the clock to save lives and meet urgent needs.
USAID is airlifting more than 480 metric tons of relief supplies to Haiti 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.
USAID is working with the Government of Haiti and local non-governmental organizations to continually assess the damage and ensure life-saving emergency relief reaches people in need, especially in the hard-hit regions along the country's southwest peninsula. At USAID's request, the Department of Defense is providing airlift and logistical capabilities in order to get critical humanitarian assistance to areas cut off by the storm.
On Thursday, USAID conducted a three-and-a-half hour aerial assessment of the most affected regions aboard a U.S. Coast Guard aircraft. The team flew over Haiti's southwest peninsula and observed significant damage to houses, public buildings, and roads due to heavy rains in the Sud region, as well as severe flood damage in Grand'Anse.
USAID is proud to represent the good will and compassion of the American people as we help our neighbors in the Caribbean get through this devastating hurricane.
Hurricane Matthew Updates