U.S. Immediate Relief Efforts
Already Undertaken in Response to Hurricane Mitch
President Clinton travels to Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and
Guatemala to further U.S. support for relief and reconstruction efforts
in the wake of Hurricane Mitch, and to help the Central American nations
maintain the momentum in their historic transformation towards peace,
democracy, human rights and free markets.
To date, the United States has provided over $300 million in disaster
relief assistance to meet immediate needs. This figure represents
relief efforts that have been implemented over the past 4-5 months.
U.S. Department of Defense
The Department of Defense has expended an estimated $150 million to
support relief and rehabilitation efforts in Central America.
At the height of the relief effort, 5,300 military personnel were
in Central America, representing the four armed services and their
reserve components. Joint Task Force Commanders in Honduras and El
Salvador are coordinating the U.S. military response. U.S. Active Duty,
Reserve and National Guard forces will be present in Central America
through the fall to build schools and clinics, drill wells and repair
additional roads and bridges, as part of an engineer and medical field
training exercise entitled New Horizons.
U.S. Military personnel rescued 1,052 people trapped by floodwaters
and provided medical care and immunizations to over 35,000 people. They
cleared three major roads and 33 bypasses, and erected three
prefabricated bridges and one foot bridge. They also repaired two
medical clinics and four schools and built four wells.
Military aircraft, including 60 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft
deployed throughout the region, delivered over 3.2 million pounds of
food and 502,000 gallons of water.
The Department of Defense transported to the region over 10 million
pounds of food, clothing, medicine and other relief items donated by
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
USAID has provided $94 million in food and other relief assistance to
the Central American nations impacted by the hurricane.
USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance has provided almost
$35 million to procure and distribute relief supplies, provide health
care, repair water and sanitation systems, restore agricultural
production, support road rehabilitation activities. The funds were also
used to provide alternative shelter to an estimated 25,000 Hondurans
living temporarily in schools, allowing the schools to open by March 1.
USAID has provided $59 million in food aid, meeting 50 percent of
the overall food needs. Under the PL 480 Title II food aid program,
USAID's Office of Food for Peace (FFP) will provide 63,330 metric tons
of food to 800,000 Hondurans through next summer, 24, 641 metric tons of
food to 300,000 Nicaraguans for six months and 8,000 metric tons of food
for 60,000 Guatemalans for six months and 2,140 metric tons of food for
El Salvador valued at $1.1 million.
A grant of $5 million has helped revitalize small businesses
impacted by the hurricane. Together with a $12 million contribution
from the Inter-American Development Bank, these funds will rebuild
workplaces, reestablish inventories and generate employment.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA is providing food aid and concessional loans valued at $63 million.
USDA is delivering 120,000 metric tons of wheat for Honduras and
Nicaragua, 60,000 metric tons of wheat for Guatemala and El Salvador and
50,000 metric tons of corn for the four countries. It will also provide
$20 million in grants to Honduras and Nicaragua for the purchase of
beans, vegetable oil, rice, and other basic commodities; and $10 million
in Title I concessional loans for food purchases for El Salvador and