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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 1, 2000


This evening I am announcing my intention to augment substantially U.S. assistance to flood-ravaged Mozambique, and to ongoing regional efforts to address the emergency caused by flooding in southern Africa.

The United States has already committed $12.8 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Department of Defense in support of relief activities. This includes over $4 million for search and rescue air operations and the deployment of a water rescue team and boats from Metro Dade, Florida. Already, one U.S. military aircraft delivered relief supplies to Mozambique today and a second will shortly arrive in South Africa. Our assistance also includes food, and funds to support efforts to control the spread of disease. Other countries are contributing generously as well.

But we can do more to address the needs of the nearly one million people who have been displaced in the region, and who face more flooding in the days to come.

I have approved the deployment of a Joint Task Force to the region to assist in the relief effort. The deployment will include six C-130 support aircraft to deliver relief supplies, six heavy lift helicopters to assist in search and rescue, and small boat search and rescue capability. The deployments will help support the relief effort in Mozambique and elsewhere in the region.

All Americans have been deeply moved by the tragic events in southern Africa. At the same time, we have admired the determination of the governments and people of the region to meet this challenge. We have also been gratified by the generous response of the American people and others in the international community.

I offer the strong support of the Government and the people of the United States to the people of Mozambique, and all of southern Africa, and pledge that we will work with you to address this crisis.

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