Friday, September 24, 2004

Bush Meets With Island Leaders

TALLAHASSEE - Jeb Bush met with leaders in storm affected island countries
today and issued this statement: "I am deeply saddened to hear the news of
the rising
death toll in Haiti as a result of recent flooding associated with Tropical
Storm Jeanne. The last several weeks have seen devastation throughout the
Caribbean region as a result of the sometimes destructive forces of nature.
Being hit this summer by three major hurricanes with a fourth possibly on
the way, Floridians understand the tragedy that can come from these types of
natural disasters. Our hearts go out to those who are suffering in Haiti
and other parts of the Caribbean during these trying times.

"Yesterday, I met with the Consul Generals of the Bahamas, the
Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, and Jamaica. These officials gave me a
full briefing on the damage inflicted upon their respective countries by
recent storms. Their suffering and needs are great, but friends are ready
to help.

"My office has been working closely with the U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of State, and various
non-governmental organizations, including the Florida Association for
Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas, Inc. (FAVACA), and
Americas Humanitarian Logistics Relief Team, a private sector relief effort
bringing together more than 50 Florida-based companies, to address the
issues of disaster response for our neighbors in the Caribbean.

"USAID has already mounted a major relief effort to assist Caribbean
countries rebuild from recent storms - providing over $2 million in
humanitarian assistance to the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica,
and the Bahamas. And USAID has just announced that an additional $2
million, as well as much needed emergency supplies, are being made available
from the U.S. government for Haiti's disaster recovery efforts. We applaud
this response and look forward to better days for our Caribbean friends and

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