United States Government Aiding Countries Hit by Hurricane Tomas
In the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas, which has caused tragic deaths, damaged homes, schools, and businesses, displaced hundreds of families, and severely damaged the transportation infrastructure in St. Lucia and St. Vincent, the United States Government is providing emergency relief funds to respond to the needs of disaster affected people in both countries. On October 31, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean D. Brent Hardt declared a disaster due to the effects of Hurricane Tomas for St. Lucia and St. Vincent. In response, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), is providing US$50,000 to each country through the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown for the local procurement of emergency relief supplies to assist storm-affected populations.
In addition to these funds, the U.S. Government is transporting immediate supplies to the two most severely affected countries from USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) stockpiles in Miami. Planes carrying emergency materials will arrive in St. Vincent November 2 and St. Lucia November 3. These shipments will serve the needs of approximately 1,000 storm-affected families in each country, including 1,056 hygiene kits, 1000 water containers, 1,000 blankets, and 100 rolls of plastic sheeting. The materials will be distributed by local partners.
The United States Embassy remains in close consultation with the Governments of St. Lucia and St. Vincent to assess needs and potential additional support. OFDA’s Regional Director for the Caribbean and Central America will be in St. Lucia and St. Vincent in the coming days for further consultations. A USAID/OFDA disaster risk management specialist is also in St. Lucia conducting damage assessments in coordination with the Government and the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) with the support of additional USAID/OFDA consultants.