USAID responds immediately to Haitian school collapse

News and Press Release
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - In response to the tragic school collapse in Haiti, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) immediately dispatched a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). The team arrived on the scene within hours of the collapse in the town of Petionville, near the capital of Port-au-Prince.

Based upon the initial assessments, USAID activated its partner, the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team. The USAR team will be composed of 38 personnel, 4 search and rescue canines and 31,000 pounds of rescue equipment.

The USAR team will be accompanied by four additional USAID disaster experts who will join the DART already in country. The team is due to arrive in Haiti on Saturday morning.

"This is a tragic situation, especially since children are involved. We are working alongside the Haitian government, to provide immediate assistance in the rescue effort," said USAID Administrator Henrietta Fore. "On behalf of the American people, I wish to convey our sympathy, thoughts and prayers to the families and loved ones of all the victims of this tragedy." USAID will continue to work with the Government of Haiti and will provide additional support as needed.

For more information about USAID's emergency humanitarian assistance programs, please visit: www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/disaster_assistance/.