WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced the delivery of much needed commodities to the Hellenic Red Cross in response to the wildfires in Greece. The commodities include 1,056 family hygiene kits, 10,000 blankets, 300 family tents, 3,000 sleeping bags, 2,000 mattress pads and 1,000 kitchen sets. The total value of the commodities, including transport, is $500,833.
The total USAID contribution to assist with the wildfires in Greece is now $1.8 million. These commodities are in addition to the provision of an initial $100,000 in emergency funds to the Hellenic Red Cross and a $1.2 million support package for the Government of Greece that included personal protective equipment for firefighters and technical assistance to the government. This support is in response to the declaration on August 25 by the Government of Greece that a national state of emergency existed in the country.
According to the latest information from the Hellenic Red Cross, it is estimated that more than 100,000 people have been affected by the wild fire, and more than 60 people have lost their lives according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The fires are also responsible for the destruction of a large number of homes, damage to communications, electric, and water infrastructure, and the burning of hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of forests and olive groves.
A six-person U.S. technical assistance team is currently in Greece. The members of the team are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's U.S. Forest Service, and representatives from USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. These experts are working with officials in Greece to address fire management, emergency management systems, fire investigation, burned area emergency rehabilitation, and ecosystem and watershed restoration.