U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Philip S. Goldberg announced today a ten-fold increase in humanitarian assistance in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Iota.
“The people of the United States stand in solidarity with the Colombian people to save lives, rebuild, and support the recovery of San Andres and Providencia,” said Ambassador Goldberg. “For more than three decades, we have built a strong partnership with the Colombian government, disaster relief agencies, and the military, that enables us to deliver aid to more people, quickly.”
Ambassador Goldberg added: “The U.S. Agency for International Development has stepped in with life-saving supplies and essential technical expertise from engineers, communications specialists, and architects. The U.S. military is transporting Colombian relief supplies to the islands. In one week, the United States has contributed more than US$1 million to the effort.”
United States support to Colombia in response to Hurricane Iota increased tenfold since November 21, to more than $1 million dollars, including:
- USD $550,000 to transport humanitarian aid to affected areas. This includes the establishment of a humanitarian “air bridge” between the islands of San Andres and Providencia with the collaboration of commercial airlines. The air bridge began Monday, November 23, and will transport approximately 70 metric tons of Colombian-Government funded generators, food, water, medical supplies, and emergency communications equipment over approximately ten days.
- USD $25,000 to purchase tool kits that include hammers, nails, screwdrivers, and handsaws to repair roofs and remove debris in San Andres.
- USD $100,000 to the Colombian Red Cross to purchase equipment to clear debris and communications equipment and provide additional non-food aid.
In addition, the Department of Defense is supporting Colombian relief efforts on the islands, totaling more than $400,000 to date:
- U.S. Air Force flights have delivered more than 220 Colombian first responders and seven pallets of water, food, and communications equipment to San Andres.
- U.S. Embassy military personnel are assisting relief efforts in San Andres, Cartagena, Barranquilla, and Bogota.
Ambassador Goldberg said, “I am proud to say that U.S. humanitarian assistance, in all its forms, will continue in support of the people of San Andres and Providencia.”