6 7 OCT./NOV. 2017 Opening Lines US SUPPORTS RELIEF EFFORTSACROSS THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN I n thewake of the devastation caused byHurricanes Irma andMaria,the United States government, through the United StatesAgency for International Development’s Office of US ForeignDisasterAs- sistance (USAID/OFDA) and the USDepartment of Defense,has providedmore thanUS$12.6million in humanitarian assistance to the Caribbean. On September 7,USAID/OFDAdeployed a Disaster Assistance ResponseTeam (DART) to several coun- tries in the Caribbean to lead the US government’s humanitarian response,working in support of affected governments.AUSAIDResponseManagement Team has also been established inWashington,DC,and the Dominican Republic to support comprehensive relief assistance. USAID/OFDAhas providedUS$250,000 to support the disaster relief efforts of national Red Cross soci- eties inDominica,Antigua and Barbuda,and St.Kitts andNevis.USAID/OFDAalso providedUS$200,000 to Samaritan’s Purse inDominica for response activities. In addition,USAID/OFDAhas airliftedmore than 152 metric tons of critical relief supplies,including heavy dutyplastic sheeting for emergency shelter needs, hygiene kits,chlorine,water containers,and blankets, aboard nine flights for Caribbean hurricane relief efforts in the above countries. InDominica,the USAIDDART is workingwith the USDepartment of Defense,Southern Com- mand,in coordinationwith local disaster officials, to ensure that items airlifted byUSAID are strate- gicallydistributed to thosemost in need,including communities in remote areas. The DARTremains flexible and nimble in or- der tomobilize to other areas based on needs assessed on the ground.USAID’s disaster efforts are done in support of host governments and in partnershipwith the CaribbeanDisaster Emergen- cyManagementAgency (CDEMA),UN agencies, non-governmental organizations,Red Cross soci- eties,and other donors to provide humanitarian assistance to people in need.