On April 7 and 8, 2016, the U.S. Mission to Greece and the U.S. Army’s 409th Contracting Support Brigade (CSB) donated essential humanitarian supplies for migrants and refugees in Greece on behalf of the U.S. Government. Thousands of beds, sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, diapers and other necessities were provided to the Hellenic Republic First Reception Service for distribution at sites across Greece.
U.S. Ambassador to Greece David Pearce said, “This latest donation demonstrates the U.S. government’s commitment to helping Greece address the emergency needs of migrants and refugees, and comes on top of last week’s announcement of our additional $20 million contribution to UNHCR and other groups caring for migrants in the region.” He added, “We have been impressed by the generosity of the Greek people who, even in the midst of the severe economic crisis, have offered food, shelter, and medicine to those in need.”
Major La’Tasha Watson, the Chief of Contracting for the 409th CSB said, “It’s so deeply gratifying to be part of the process – to be able to help people. When I saw the news of the sheer number of individuals, leaving everything behind, I knew I wanted to be part of the relief effort.”
The humanitarian assistance project began earlier this month, when Greek government officials identified the critical need for certain humanitarian items. U.S. Embassy officials then worked with local vendors to find sufficient quantities which could be rapidly delivered.
“We’ve had immense support in this endeavor, from U.S. officials stateside, U.S. European Command, to the Hellenic National Defense General Staff – everyone wants to help,” noted Colonel Jay Gardner of the Office of Defense Cooperation in Greece. Colonel Gardner added that U.S. authorities are also coordinating delivery of other items from excess property stocks.