The U.S. responds to some truly unprecedented humanitarian needs worldwide, from the earthquake in Mexico this week, and the near famine in South Sudan. USAID has deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to Mexico in response to urgent humanitarian needs. The death toll from the magnitude 7.1 earthquake has risen over 200. Over 60 members and five K-9s from the Los Angeles County Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue Team landed in Mexico City with specialized tools and medical equipment to conduct around-the-clock search and rescue operations. They will be working closely with Mexican disaster authorities to help rescue earthquake survivors and assess structures for earthquake damage in direct response to the request of the Government of Mexico.
USAID has also deployed disaster experts across the Caribbean as yet another hurricane moves to the region. As we help our neighbors in Mexico and the Caribbean, we want to make clear that America is and will remain the world’s leading humanitarian donor. As the President said earlier this week, America is wholeheartedly committed to humanitarian assistance. This week alone, the United States has announced almost $1 billion in additional humanitarian aid. Whether it’s responding to an earthquake, drought, or conflict, America is committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with people in their hour of need.