After months of massive relief efforts, the U.S. Southern Command officially ended its earthquake disaster response in Haiti.
“I am proud of Joint Task Force Haiti’s accomplishments and the men and women who filled its ranks,” said first commander of Joint Task Force-Haiti Army Lt. Gen Ken Keen.
With contributions such as the reopening of Toussaint L’Ouverture International Airport in Port au Prince and the delivery of more than 2.6 million bottles of water, 2.2 million food rations, 17 million pounds of bulk food and 149,000 pounds of medical supplies into Haiti, Southcom officials will leave the rest of the restoration efforts to humanitarian projects and two annual military exercises in the region.
The initial response forces totaled 22,000 U.S. land, aircraft, and vessel exercises when the massive earthquake hit Haiti on Jan. 12.
While Southcom announced an official departure of the earthquake response, it added military humanitarian and construction projects will be continued throughout the hurricane season, supported by military medical personnel, civilian government agencies, and academic institutions, as well as the National Guard Members who are part of the New Horizons Program. These efforts will rebuild the remaining institutions Haiti lost in the hurricane.
Southcom will also contribute $13 million to support the Haitian government’s disaster preparedness and humanitarian assistance projects.