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USAID to help in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle
March 20, 2023

USAID to help in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle

Media Release
March 3, 2023

In the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland floods, USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA) is deploying a team of twelve technical experts to partner with Government of NZ-led emergency operations centers, logistics, and response planning capacities.

“Our team will support the efforts of their Kiwi counterparts providing opportunities for teams already on the ground to rest and regroup. This USAID Emergency Support team to Aotearoa New Zealand are trained, experienced disaster relief professionals,” says Ambassador Tom Udall.

The Ambassador sends his deepest sympathies to all those affected and says he has been moved by the way New Zealanders have responded and rallied.

“The devastating impact is hard to get your head around, but the resilience of New Zealanders is absolutely extraordinary. There is such camaraderie and a real sense of community. My expectation is that our team will become part of that community when they in the next few days,” he says. “The friendship between our two countries is long-standing and when disaster strikes we are there for one another. USAID teams came to help after the Christchurch earthquake and the USS Sampson helped to get supplies ashore following the Kaikoura earthquake.”

And it works in the other direction too, he added.

“The HMNZS Te Kaha was offered to take the place of USS Fitzgerald when that ship suffered a collision at sea claiming the lives of seven U.S. sailors. When wildfires break out in the United States, Kiwi firefighters are the always the first ones to get on a plane.”