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U.S. Humanitarian Response to Hurricane Ike

Cuba: U.S. Humanitarian Response to Hurricane Ike (Taken Question)

Question: Provide an update on disaster assistance in the wake of Hurricane Ike. Have we made subsequent offers of assistance? If so, how have they been received by the Cuban government? What assistance has been provided?

Answer: In response to Hurricane Ike, the United States reiterated its offer to send a humanitarian assessment team to Cuba to determine additional needs. The deployment of such a team is part of the standard process for helping to determine the United States response in the case of a disaster. The Cuban Government declined, on September 6, our initial offer to send a team to evaluate the damage caused by Hurricane Gustav, but our offer to send a team in the wake of Hurricane Ike remains on the table.

The United States is currently providing an immediate $100,000 in emergency assistance to NGOs engaged in humanitarian relief operations in response to Hurricane Gustav. In the wake of Gustav and Ike, the U.S. government also increased existing authorizations for U.S.-based NGOs to provide larger amounts of humanitarian assistance, including in the form of cash donations, to help address the basic needs of the Cuban people. The U.S. will expedite applications of up to $10 million per donor for up to 90 days.

Individuals and organizations interested in assisting hurricane victims in Cuba are encouraged to provide cash donations to reputable humanitarian assistance organizations that are licensed to send humanitarian aid to Cuba.

ENDS

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