Point of Contact
U.S Southern Command Public Affairs Office
Mr. Jose Ruiz, Tel. 305-437-1213
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Haiti’s disaster response capabilities were boosted today after U.S. Ambassador Pamela White and U.S. embassy officials donated 12 transport vehicles and 12 watercraft to Haitian emergency response and civil protection agencies during a handover ceremony in Port-au-Prince.
During the ceremony, the U.S. delivered six all-terrain, large cabin pick-up trucks; six 20-foot, all-terrain cargo trucks; and a dozen 18-foot search and rescue boats, purchased under U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program to extend the operational reach of Haitian emergency response officials who aid communities and citizens following natural disasters and other life-threatening crises.
Representatives from Haiti’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security accepted the keys for the vehicles on behalf of Haitian National Police firefighters. The trucks will be used by the Haitian Volunteer Firefighter Association and will complement existing disaster relief capabilities at six of 10 Emergency Operation Centers constructed by the U.S. at departments across the country and donated to help the nation strengthen and expand essential disaster-response infrastructure and services.
The U.S. delegation presented the boats to officials from Haiti’s Ministry of Interior and Territorial Collectives. The boats will be used by the country’s Civil Protection Directorate to support Emergency Operation Centers and Disaster Relief Warehouses in the Artibonite, Centre, and Nord departments in the country’s northern and central regions.
A team of 10 first responders from Haiti traveled to Pineville, La., Jan. 6 to participate in a bilateral capacity-building exchange covering search and rescue boat operations and maintenance with subject matter experts from the Louisiana National Guard, the latest in a long series of engagements between the two under Louisiana’s state partnership with Haiti.
Previous SOUTHCOM-funded assistance to Haiti has included more than $29 million for projects such as the construction of eight community clusters in Hatte, Desdunes, Torbeck, Les Cayes, Mandrin, Ecole Pont Gaudin, Abricot and in Jeremie Chateau to help the Haitian government support its citizens and provide essential services.
The clusters consist of a school, medical clinic, and a community center that also doubles as shelter in the event of a disaster, along with a water-well. USSOUTHCOM also constructed primary disaster preparedness facilities, including 10 emergency operations centers, 10 disaster relief warehouses and 12 fire stations.