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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 21, 1999


With passage of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, President Clinton has succeeded in obtaining the $956 million he requested to address vital relief and reconstruction needs in Central America and the Caribbean in the wake of the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Mitch and Georges. The package follows through on the President's commitment to stand by our neighbors to the South as they rebuild for their future.

The bill provides reconstruction assistance, disaster mitigation, and debt relief and will be channeled primarily through nongovernmental organizations in cooperation with U.S. government agencies. It also replenishes programs at the Department of Defense, the Department of Treasury, and the U.S. Agency for International Development that were depleted to pay for the immediate humanitarian relief provided by the U.S. after the hurricanes hit.

The supplemental bill will be presented at the upcoming donor conference in Stockholm in which donors throughout Asia and Europe will meet to discuss reconstruction priorities and pledge assistance. The bill will provide an important leverage in prompting other nations to donate to the region.

Specifically, the bill provides: