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U.S. Government Provides Disaster Response Equipment to Haitian Civil Protection Authorities

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti – Today, the U.S. government provided 12 boats, four sport utility vehicles, and 11,000 hand-crank radios to Haitian officials as part of the U.S. government’s partnership with the Haitian government and its emergency response agency, the Direction de la Protection Civile (DPC). It builds upon U.S. efforts to strengthen the DPC’s ability to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.

U.S. Air Force General Douglas M. Fraser, Commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), presented the equipment on behalf of the U.S. government and said, “This equipment is a tangible representation of the United States’ enduring partnership with Haiti and will further enhance the substantial progress the Direction de Protection Civil has made in increasing Haiti’s disaster response capacity.”

In outlining his ministry's plan for disaster response, Haitian Minister Thierry Mayard-Paul said, “With this equipment, we, the Haitian government, will be better able to respond when Haitians are in need.”

PM Garry Conille, who is also the president of the Haitian national risk management system, emphasized the importance of readiness and said, “This initiative will enable Haiti to be better prepared in case of natural disasters.”

The U.S. Department of Defense is funding more than $30 million in construction projects throughout Haiti, to build nine Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) and disaster relief warehouses, eight schools, eight community centers, six medical clinics, and 14 fire stations. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command has deployed an officer to Haiti to oversee the construction projects. These projects and the donated equipment strengthen the Haitian disaster and emergency response networks, and will help make Haiti a safer place. Today’s ceremony took place at the EOC built in March 2011, which the Haitian government is using as its national emergency operations center.