US Helps Haiti Prepare for 'Tomas'

Transitional shelters built by CHF International and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development will help keep quake-affected Haitians dry during a storm. USAID has sent a disaster assistance response team to help Haiti prepare for Tropical Storm Tomas. Photo by: Kendra Helmer / USAID

The U.S. Agency for International Development has sent a disaster assistance response team to help Haiti prepare for Tropical Storm Tomas, which is projected to hit the earthquake-ravaged country as it moves across the Caribbean, according to an official of the U.S. State Department.

The team will help the Haitian government “mitigate potential damage through canal clearing and drainage channel preparation, and providing information to the Haitian people,” Philip J. Crowley, State Department’s assistant secretary for public affairs, explained in a news release.

Crowley added that the team will help Haitian authorities disseminate information on when Haitians should seek safer shelters and where they should head to for protection and assistance.

“We expect that it [Tropical Storm Tomas] will begin to have an effect on Haiti on Thursday,” Crowley noted.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has estimated that 500,000 people are in need of emergency aid ahead of the storm, which is feared to compound the humanitarian situation in Haiti.

>> Aid Groups Prepare for Hurricane Headed Toward Haiti

Tsunami, eruption relief

USAID is also providing USD2 million worth of humanitarian assistance for victims of the tsunami and volcanic eruption in Indonesia.

The funds will be used to purchase, distribute and replenish relief supplies including blankets, nonfood items, masks, clean water, and sanitation and hygiene kits, according to a USAID news release.

“The United States will work closely with the Indonesian Government, the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), and local NGOs to deliver the assistance,” the news release reads. 

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.