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When disaster strikes in the United States, like the destruction of Hurricane Ida, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds and coordinates a response. But when disaster strikes overseas, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) coordinates and delivers American aid. On Aug. 14, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake and a tropical storm in Haiti left thousands of residents without basic necessities.

  • Tim Callaghan, disaster assistance response team leader for USAID for the 2021 Haiti earthquake, said his team is providing assistance with food, shelter, health, water sanitation and hygiene in the southern part of Haiti.
  • Callaghan said they are working with the Defense Department, the Coast Guard and civil protection in the country and coordinating with security as part of the “last mile distribution.”
  • Callaghan said this type of large-scale response effort involves a lot of pre-planning, such as having agreements in place for search and rescue worldwide.
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