The U.S. government through the U.S. Agency for International Developments (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance is quickly responding to help thousands of displaced persons in the aftermath of yesterdays devastating volcano eruption in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Africa.
On January 18, U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Margaret K. McMillion and U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo Aubrey Hooks declared disasters for the eruption of a volcano at Mt. Nyiragongo near Goma in the DRC. The disaster declarations enable the U.S. government to provide humanitarian assistance in those countries to respond to the disaster.
USAID humanitarian response will provide monetary and material support for both countries. On January 19th a shipment of commodities will depart from Baltimore/Washington (BWI) airport on from a USAID stockpile in New Windsor, Maryland to Kigali, Rwanda. The shipment of humanitarian goods will be consigned torelief agencies operating in Goma, DRC and Gisenyi, Rwanda.
The shipment will include the following items:
20,000 wool blankets -- Packaged in 800 bales (25 blankets per bale) for a total of 800 bales. -- Total cargo value: $ 120,000
20,000 five-gallon water jugs -- Total cargo value: $ 40,000
20 -- 10,000-liter water bladders -- Total cargo value: $ 54,000
5,000 dust masks -- Total cargo value: $ 10,000
The cost of the commodities is $224,000, and the cost of transportation is estimated to be approximately $250,000.
USAID is also providing $25,000 to the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa for relief assistance, which will be provided to relief agencies operating in the Goma area.
Catholic Relief Services has been granted permission by USAID to reallocate funds from an existing grant in DRC for Goma volcano relief efforts.
The U.S. government is committed to providing ongoing support for the humanitarian crisisin Goma. As the situation evolves, USAID will consider local purchase of relief materials and monetary support for relief activities in DRC and Rwanda,in addition to further commodities from its stockpiles.
USAID has already dispatched four personnel to the area to assist with assessment and coordination. Three are relief staff based in offices in the region, and one is a water/sanitation specialist based in the United States.
The U.S. Agency for International Development is the U.S. government agency that has provided economic development and humanitarian assistance worldwide for over 40 years.