The United States Southern Command Humanitarian Assistance Program has made a donation of equipment worth approximately six hundred and seventy thousand dollars, including two bobcats, two tower lights and two water pumps to the Office of Disaster Management (ODM).
US Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, Linda Taglialatela presented the equipment on Thursday, to Justice, Immigration & National Security Minster Rayburn Blackmoore, at the ODM Office in Jimmit.
U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), located in Florida, is one of nine unified Combatant Commands in the Department of Defence. It is responsible for providing contingency planning, operations, and security cooperation in Central America, South America and the Caribbean (except U.S. commonwealths, territories, and possessions).
Ambassador Taglialatela said she enjoys being able to demonstrate US partnership with Dominica, and officially handover equipment to enable the country to more efficiently help its employees, during a national disaster. She said “Dominica and the United States share a long history of friendship, cooperation and ties that unite our people, and this donation is a reflection of that relationship”.
In 2004, the US donated a one-million-dollar emergency operation center and warehouse to the ODM, and further enhanced it in 2015, during the US Navy Comfort Ship’s visit, with the establishment of a security post and fencing for the facility.
In accepting the donation, Minster Rayburn Blackmoore thanked the US government and Ambassador Taglialatela, for the generous assistance to Dominica. He said “Those pieces of equipment will assist us greatly in responding to disaster events. Over the past years, Your Excellency, we have seen an increase in events, especially rain, which gives rise to landslides, flooding and other secondary hazards, that require such equipment to help us in clearing our roads, drains, small waterways”.
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