12 May, 2006

Disaster Response Teams Start Arriving in Suriname

Members of the UNDAC team are already in Suriname after arriving late yesterday afternoon (5pm local time) and are currently setting up focal operational points in Paramaribo. Some of the equipment that they have brought with them includes high capactiy pumps that will be used for water purification and sanitation.

A 3-man strong emergency response team comprising of the regional advisor, a communications officer and relief consultant from USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and OFDA (Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance) are mobilizing and will be on the ground in Suriname today morning to start carrying out field assessments in disaster zones.

Tomorrow, the ECHO (European Community Humanitarian Aid Deaprtment) team who have activated their Iridium satellite phones, will be landing in the capital of Suriname to assist in ongoing aid operations. ECHO and UNDAC teams will be provided with satellite relief communications by TSF Nicaragua who are expected to stay for about a month in Suriname in order to establish a stable network for relief agencies to communicate on while rebuilding the public communications infrastructure in affected areas.

International (Urban Search And Resue) teams from the UK, Iceland and the Netherlands are continuously mornitoring the situation and are on standby and ready to deploy if needed.

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