WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and author of the U.S.-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act (P.L. 114-291), today welcomed the news that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide $2.5 million in additional hurricane relief for Dominica. Representative Engel also called for additional new funding to address response, recovery and reconstruction needs throughout the Caribbean following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“I’m heartbroken by the loss of life and damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. I have had extensive discussions with USAID Administrator Mark Green about the need to provide the entire Caribbean region—and particularly Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda—with significantly greater resources without delay,” said Rep. Engel. “The additional $2.5 million from USAID to address humanitarian needs in Dominica is good news.  I thank Administrator Green, and I urge USAID to use its authority to make available considerably more supplies right away. Looking ahead toward reconstruction, I will push for additional resources for the Caribbean.  As Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda seek to rebuild, and with the growing threat posed by climate change, we should use this opportunity to promote better building codes throughout the region to help ensure structures can withstand stronger storms.” 

Councilman Andy King of New York has partnered with Rep. Engel in pushing for a robust U.S. response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria. He said, “I want to thank Congress Member Engel who acted without delay to bring about additional hurricane relief to Dominica. I’m pleased we’re able to collaborate in the call for funding for the people of the Caribbean. To see the devastation in Dominica, to see every street, every village, every person impacted in the worst way is heart breaking. Many people are still without drinking water and basic necessities. The intensive care unit in the Island’s main hospital had been destroyed. To date, 26 people are confirmed dead, 31 are still missing, and more than 50,000 people are displaced on an island that has a population of some 74,000. We must do all that we can to help.”

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