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First U.S. Flight with Humanitarian Goods Arrives in Democratic Republic of Congo
Date:11/13/2008

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), airlifted the first of five planned shipments of U.S. emergency assistance to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on November 12. In coordination with the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), approximately 20,000 internally displaced persons will benefit from 10,000 blankets, 5,400 water containers, 500 rolls of plastic sheeting, and 5,000 kitchen sets, totaling $801,500.

On October 15, U.S. Charge d'Affaires Samuel V. Brock declared a disaster in response to the ongoing humanitarian emergency in the DRC. In response to this disaster declaration, USAID deployed a six-member Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) of humanitarian specialists to address the acute crisis in North Kivu. The DART is charged with assessing changing humanitarian conditions, identifying priority needs for additional programming, and facilitating humanitarian coordination and information sharing.

Since October 2007, USAID's Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has worked through UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to provide more than $22 million in humanitarian assistance to the DRC. The majority of assistance supports programs in the North and South Kivu provinces focusing on health, nutrition, humanitarian logistics, and food security. During this same time frame, USAID's Office of Food for Peace (FFP) provided over $100 million to meet the food needs of people affected by conflict throughout DRC, including 63,810 metric tons of emergency food assistance and funding for administrative support. The U.S. Department of State's Office of Population, Refugees and Migration has provided nearly $34 million to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN World Food Program, and NGO partners for repatriation and reintegration programs benefiting returning refugees, internally displaced persons, and host communities. USAID/OFDA has maintained two program officers in DRC since 2001, and USAID/FFP has one permanent staff member.

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

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.

Public Information: 202-712-4810


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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development
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