The U.S hands over vehicles, disaster-response equipment to Haiti
Haiti’s Minister of the Interior, Defense and the Collectivities Thierry Mayard-Paul says the vehicles and equipment will be used to reinforce his Ministry's comprehensive disaster preparedness strategy.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Friday January 6, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has given vehicles and disaster-response equipment to the government ahead of the second anniversary of the January 12 earthquake.
The SUVs, trucks, boats, canoes, 11,000 solar radios, tents and other disaster-response equipment were signed over yesterday to Haiti’s Minister of the Interior, Defense and the Collectivities Thierry Mayard-Paul.
Lt. General Douglas M. Frazer, Commander of the SOUTHCOM, representing the U.S. DOD, together with U.S. Army Commander John Reed, pointed out that the earthquake not only impacted and changed the lives of the people of Haiti but also every member of the U.S. armed forces who came to give relief.
“It is in all our interests - the government of Haiti's, SOUTHCOM's and the international community's - to continue supporting Haiti's capacity to respond to disasters,” Lt. General Fraser said.
“This equipment, which further enhances the capability of Haiti's Department of Civil Protection (DCP) for disaster response, is tangible proof of the strong relationship between the government of Haiti and the U.S. The continuing commitment of the U.S. to support the government of Haiti is unwavering.”
The 7.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed much of the nation’s infrastructure, killed hundreds of thousands of people and left many others injured.
According to Mayard-Paul, the equipment provided by the U.S. will help reinforce his ministry's comprehensive disaster preparedness strategy, which includes building a network of emergency operations centers, warehouses, disaster and fire stations throughout Haiti to help make all parts of the country safer.
“Haiti is in a geographic location that is vulnerable to the variances of nature, including hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes,” he explained.
“Our efforts to put this country back on course and to achieve our goals for sustainable economic development are also susceptible to these natural disasters. Therefore, the valuable contributions of our U.S. friends will help substantially in strengthening our disaster mitigation efforts while we continue to serve our individual communities through job creation and economic growth.”