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USAID Provides Additional Wildfire Assistance to Greece
Date:8/30/2007

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is announcing the contribution of $1.2 million in equipment and technical assistance to the Government of Greece (GOG) to help combat wildfires in the country. This announcement follows the provision of an initial $100,000 on August 28, which USAID directed to the Hellenic Red Cross for emergency fire fighting equipment and emergency relief commodities. This support is in response to the declaration on August 25 by the GOG that a national state of emergency existed in the country.

As many as 170 wildfires were burning throughout Greece in late August, including those close to Athens and across the Peloponnese region. Although nearly all of the blazes were under control by August 29, to date, more than 60 people have lost their lives, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The fires are also responsible for the destruction of a large number of homes, damage to communications, electric, and water infrastructure, and the burning of hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of forests and olive groves.

The $1.2 million contribution will support the purchase of personal protective equipment for firefighters, fund technical assistance teams from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's U.S. Forest Service, and representatives from USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. These experts will work with officials in Greece to address fire management, emergency management systems, fire investigation, burned area emergency rehabilitation, and ecosystem and watershed restoration.

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


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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development
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