United States Offers Immediate Assistance for Disaster Relief


The US State Department says it is currently working with USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance to respond quickly to offer assistance to Koslanda.State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that the United States has received an official request for assistance from the Government of Sri Lanka. “The ambassador – our ambassador on the ground has exercised her authority to declare a disaster and request assistance from Washington. The Department of State is currently working with USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance to respond quickly,” she said at a press briefing in Washington.

Meanwhile the U.S. Embassy in Colombo in a press release issued 31 Oct 2014 said to meet the urgent needs of victims of the recent landslides in Koslanda, the United States Government has provided 6.5 million Sri Lankan Rupees ($50,000) for emergency humanitarian assistance.  The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is working closely with Sri Lanka’s National Disaster Relief Services Center and international aid partners to coordinate the donation of most urgently-needed items.

The U.S. assistance is being provided through World Vision to supply emergency non-food items such as blankets, mattresses, clothing, hygiene kits, and footwear, as well as education material for children, child counseling services and psycho-social first aid to help those affected recover from the disaster.  The U.S. Embassy will continue coordinating with Sri Lankan authorities to decide how best to complement their extensive efforts.

“We know that the families and communities of the Koslanda area will require immediate and long-term assistance to recover from the devastation caused by the landslide,” said Ambassador Michele J. Sison.  “Our U.S. grant announced today provides the items identified by the National Disaster Relief Service Center as most urgently required on the ground.  These donations will help 1,000 affected children and families, and we continue to offer our full support.”

Yesterday the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., also conveyed its deepest condolences to the Government and the people of Sri Lanka and the families affected by the recent landslides.  “We commend the Government of Sri Lanka and its armed forces for their rapid response and valiant search and rescue efforts,” said Jen Psaki, State Department spokesperson.

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