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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 8, 1999


                     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.

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.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

USDA is providing food aid and concessional loans valued at $63 million.