In response to the Nicaraguan government’s request for international assistance, USAID provided an initial $150,000 to support the relief efforts, in addition to the $25,000 for hurricane preparedness provided prior to Felix’s landfall. As Felix approached the region, USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance deployed 23 disaster response experts in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, and Mexico, to support response wherever the storm made landfall.
As Washington raises the profile of its assistance to the region, the U.S. military is helping victims of natural disasters. On Wednesday, it diverted the U.S. Navy amphibious ship USS Wasp from military exercises off Panama to help Nicaragua recover from Hurricane Felix. Venezuela also sent aid to Nicaragua, and 57 Cuban doctors and nurses already established on the Miskito coast on medical missions were helping as well.
Cuban doctors assist hurricane evacuees in Nicaragua
The head of the Cuban medical brigade, Luis Carlos Avila, said eight Cuban doctors along with their patients had been evacuated from Puerto Cabezas, capital city of the North Atlantic Autonomous Region(RAAN), located 536 kilometers from Managua.
Avila noted that some 57 Cuban doctors and nurses are serving in RAAN while a similar number are serving in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region as part of the cooperation agreements established between the island and Nicaragua.
He added that in Waspam to the north and also a target for Hurricane Felix there is another 40 Cuban doctors. The arrival of Hurricane Felix forced the evacuation of some 10 000 people.
Along with Cuban doctors and local healthcare personnel, those working shoulder-to-shoulder with them in these improvised facilities include 20 young Nicaraguans in their fifth year of medical school at the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM, in Cuba).
The group is part of the 59 students who in the weeks previous to the disaster had been carrying out community work in remote areas of Nicaragua under the supervision of instructors in the Cuban medical brigade.
The Cuban Medical Brigades that arrived to Honduras on November 3, 1998, after the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch, have assisted more than 1.6 million people and continue to offer care with a staff of 280 healthcare professionals.
PUERTO CABEZAS, Nicaragua: Thousands of people on Nicaragua's remote Caribbean coast urgently need food, water, medical supplies and tools to rebuild their communities following Hurricane Felix, residents and a U.N. official said.
Felix devastated remote jungle beaches and communities along the Miskito coastline when it struck Tuesday as a Category 5 hurricane, destroying crops, erasing homes and killing scores of people.The U.N. representative in Nicaragua, Alfredo Missair, said Friday that more than 100,000 Nicaraguans were directly affected by the storm and the country will need US$43.5 million (€32 million) in aid over the next six months
Nicaraguan television reported that Canada offered US$1 million (€730,000) to Central American countries affected by Felix, and 10,000 blankets for Nicaragua. Taiwan and Japan also donated money and supplies, Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Samuel Santos said.
The U.S. Embassy in Managua said in a statement Saturday that it will donate US$1 million (€730,000) through the United States Agency for International Development to help an estimated 30,000 people.
The U.S. also sent four helicopters from the USS Wasp, rerouted to Nicaragua from Panama, and two helicopters and a reconnaissance plane from a military base in Honduras to help assess damage, rescue victims, and deliver supplies. Venezuela also sent aid and 57 Cuban doctors and nurses already established on the Miskito coast on medical missions were helping as well.
The dead from Hurricane Felix wash up on the beaches
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