USAID Supports Flood Relief to South Africa

Rescue South Africa
Rescue South Africa trainee, Clifford Mokgatlhe assists Adele Swanepoel in a simulated rescue attempt during a USAID- funded search and rescue training

USAID provides over R350,000 of financial assistance to Rescue South Africa for emergency relief services

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

PRETORIA – In response to a request from the South African Department of Social Development, the United States Mission to South Africa, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided over R350,000 of financial assistance to Rescue South Africa (RSA) to provide emergency relief services to flood-impacted South Africans.

“The South African government seeks support from the private sector and community organizations, and we are pleased that USAID is able to fund one of our local partners, Rescue South Africa, to answer this call,” explained USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) Southern Africa Advisor Harlan Hale. “RSA has proven capability to provide immediate relief aid and, importantly, to partner with municipal and provincial disaster management authorities, as well as other agencies, who are leading flood relief and recovery efforts countrywide.”

Rescue South Africa’s +100 experts are highly trained and experienced emergency services specialists. Over a period of five years, USAID has supported RSA to gain international search and rescue training and the ability to train others in life-saving procedures following crises such as earthquakes, floods, trench rescue, swift water rescue, aircraft accident body recovery and numerous other skills.

“Every time Rescue South Africa gets involved in a major incident, USAID is one of the first organizations to support our relief efforts,” said Ian Scher, Rescue South Africa CEO. “There is no doubt in my mind that had it not been for their generosity over the last six years, we would not be the rescue organisation that we are.”

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for 50 years.

Rescue South Africa (RSA) aims to develop, facilitate and execute emergency response operations during complex urban and national events or disasters of significant proportions. The organisation's services are available within Africa’s borders and globally, as part of a South African contribution to the international community. RSA was created through a mutual desire among South African emergency responders and humanitarian aid workers of all disciplines and persuasions to create a non-aligned, apolitical response capacity for large-scale disaster and relief operations. The organization unites the resources of private and public sectors in the service of humanity and in so doing creates a national response asset.

*Exchange rate: US$1=South African Rands7.15

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