FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 27, 2004
Schumer Seeks More Disaster Relief Funds To Help Dominican Republic And Haiti Recover From Floods That Killed 1,950
Torrential downpours and constant flooding this week along Dominican Republic-Haitan border caused approximately 1,950 deaths and forced evacuation of more than 13,000
Senator says $50K that US promised to send is good start, but far help more is needed to rebuild
Initial American aid package provides less than $3.35 per person killed or left homeless
US Senator Charles E. Schumer today asked the U.S. Agency for International Development to significantly add to the $50,000 they have allocated in disaster relief funds to help the Dominican Republic and Haiti rebuild after the torrential downpours and flooding there this week. Floods in the region have caused approximately 1,950 deaths and forced evacuation of more than 13,000 people, particularly in the town of Jimani in the southwestern Dominican Republic along the Haitan border and the Haitian town of Mapou.
"It's great that the America n government moved fast to send money to our brothers and sisters trying to rebuild their homes and their lives, but the bottom line is Washington is sending less than $3.35 per person affected so far," Schumer said. "As the full extent of the damage becomes apparent, it's clear this initial $50,000 will only serve as a down payment, and far more funds will be needed to rebuild."
Torrential downpours and constant flooding this week, particularly in and around the town of Jimani in the southwestern part of the Dominican Republic and in the Haitian town of Mapou, have caused the deaths of roughly 1,950 people and have forced the evacuation of more than 13,000 people. This was one of the deadliest floods in the last decade in a region that has had many bad floods. Tropical Storm Gordon killed at least 829 Haitians and follow in the wake of a deadly flood that killed nearly 30 people in St. Marc, Haiti last September.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has approved $50,000 in funds to assist in the disaster response, but Schumer today asked US AID Administrator Andrew S. Natsios to go further and provide all necessary disaster relief assistance to meet both the immediate and long term needs of the flood victims.
Because a precise accounting of the damage in the region has not yet been made, Schumer also today asked USAID to move quickly to assess the level of assistance that will be needed for recovery. And Schumer asked AID to work with the governments of the Dominican Republic and Haiti to ensure that all funds are transmitted in an effective and accountable manner that will benefit the victims of this disastrous event.
"It is imperative that USAID moves quickly to ease the pain and suffering of those who have been adversely affected by this terrible disaster," Schumer wrote in a letter to Administrator Natsios. A copy of that letter is attached.