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Earthquake Relief Update

Cover of the USAID  publication 'Pakistan Quake Relief.'  Click to download
Click to download the
Pakistan Quake Relief publication

(PDF, 4.2mb)
A Commitment to Reconstruction
On November 19, 2005, the U.S. Government actively engaged other donors to support relief and reconstruction at the Donors Conference in Pakistan. In all, 75 countries and international organizations pledged $6.2 billion in post-earthquake assistance, a demonstration of international support. The U.S. pledged a total of $510 million.
USAID Relief and Transition
Pledged: $70 million
Obligated to Date: $69.3 million
Food and Refugee Relief
Pledged: $24 million
Obligated to Date: $32.7 million
Military Assistance
Pledged: $110 million
Obligated to Date: $133.5 million
Private Sector Contributions
Pledged: $100 million
Donated to Date: $151.75 million
Reconstruction over 4 years
Pledged: $206 million
Obligated in FY 2006: $55 million
How You Can  Help
Link to www.southasiaearthquakerelief.org

The South Asia Earthquake Relief Fund was formed when five distinguished private-sector leaders, supported by President Bush, launched a nationwide effort to encourage private donations for relief and reconstruction in response to the devastating earthquake in South Asia that occurred on October 8, 2005.

One Year Retrospective:

The United States’ Response to the South Asia Earthquake

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan on October 8, 2005. Its epicenter was located near Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and approximately 60 miles north-northeast of Islamabad. Aftershocks continue in the affected areas. An estimated 74,000 Pakistanis died, 70,000 were seriously injured, and over 2.8 million were left homeless. Mountainous terrain, cold weather, and collapsed infrastructure hindered the delivery of humanitarian relief. Ninety percent of the deaths and injuries occurred in AJK and in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

The US Government Responds

The U.S. response was immediate and massive. Within 48 hours of the earthquake, the first CH-47 Chinook helicopters arrived from Afghanistan. At the height of disaster relief operations, the U.S. Army provided 21 CH-47s simultaneously. By October 10, USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) had established a headquarters in Islamabad and forward operating bases in Muzaffarabad and Mansehra, in NWFP, to help coordinate the relief effort. Focusing on immediate humanitarian needs, U.S. Government assistance provided emergency shelter, relief supplies, and medical help in close coordination with the Government of Pakistan, local authorities, and international organizations.

Although the earthquake left more than 2 million survivors homeless, the quick and sustained response to the earthquake helped avert deaths from injury, lack of shelter, or severe outbreaks of disease.

  • 370,000 people in the affected areas received relief commodities through a vast airlift of urgently needed relief supplies beginning within 24 hours of the earthquake. USAID completed 25 flights of emergency relief commodities that delivered 97,725 blankets; 1,570 winterized tents; 8,050 rolls of plastic sheeting for shelter for 36,672 families; 15,000 water containers; 17 water bladders and two purification units; 10 WHO emergency health kits; 20 concrete cutting saws; and 136 shelters donated by Alaska Structures.
  • 5,912 relief operations were flown by U.S. military and government helicopters. With the roads across the region blocked by rubble, these sorties delivered 14,322 tons of relief supplies and transported 19,638 people, including over 4,547 needing medical attention.
  • 35,000 people received emergency medical treatment— and another 20,000 were inoculated at U.S. military hospitals in Muzaffarabad and Shinkiari, helping prevent severe outbreaks of disease. In March 2006, at the conclusion of relief operations, the U.S. Army donated to Pakistan its last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH), the site of over 400 operations and emergency care for 20,000 patients during the relief effort.
  • 1,000 tons of relief supplies and 107 pieces of heavy engineering equipment were delivered in a coordinated effort involving seven U.S. military vessels. Separately, a U.S. Navy construction battalion completed a dozen projects, clearing over 50,000 cubic yards of debris and building 85 temporary shelters, many of which were used for schools.
Catholic Relief  Services distributes supplies in Purri, outside of Balakot - click for  photo galleries
View photo galleries of relief efforts in Pakistan and India

Relief efforts in the days and weeks after the earthquake helped meet the urgent needs of the millions of people who lost their homes and livelihoods shortly before the beginning of winter. From October 2005 to March 2006, the U.S. Government continued emergency relief efforts, providing essential shelter and access to healthcare, food, and water.

  • 596,000 people received emergency shelter materials including corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) sheets, plastic sheeting, household kits, winterized tents, blankets, shelter kits, quilts, and toolkits. USAID’s partners are continuing to assist earthquakeaffected families by constructing temporary shelters and providing technical assistance and training for the construction of durable shelters.
  • 80,000 people in affected areas gained access to essential healthcare though support to the Ministry of Health. Additionally, more than 3,700 children received psychological and social assistance through the construction and support of safe play spaces. USAID also established 228 tent schools, and provided textbooks and school supplies across affected areas.
  • 57,000 people gained access to safe drinking water through an effort to rehabilitate 100 village water systems and the creation of water infrastructure in camps. Other efforts improved access to sanitation facilities for more than 109,000 people. Hygiene education programs reached over 70,000 people, helping prevent the spread of disease.
  • 7,270 metric tons of Title II emergency food assistance was provided by USAID in response to the UN World Food Program emergency and follow-on recovery operation for Pakistan.
  • 48,500 days of work were created and paid for through livelihoods programs that provided income for those in the affected areas. These cash-for-work programs supported the restoration of water supply systems, road clearance, vocational training, and rubble removal. Over 15,500 households received $100 vouchers, enabling earthquake-affected people to replace household supplies and construction equipment.

On October 27, five private-sector CEOs launched the South Asia Earthquake Relief Fund to spearhead private fundraising. To date, it has received over $19 million in cash and pledges, and has allocated $4.5 million to five organizations focused on relief efforts, with remaining funds for reconstruction. Ambassador Randall L. Tobias, Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance, sits on the Fund’s Advisory Committee.

Transition Programs

With an end to winter and the conclusion of emergency relief efforts, USAID initiated a series of transition programs to help people return home and rebuild their communities. Beginning in April 2006 these programs are helping residents establish the foundation for long-term recovery, preventing a second wave of displacements when winter returns.

During the transition period from April to October 2006, USAID is focusing resources in Bagh Tehsil and the Kaghan and Siran valleys. USAID is also assisting populations in the Allai Valley, having returned to their homes from Mehra Camp. To assist in creating sustainable communities, USAID is supporting broad reaching programs designed to address the many needs of the recovering communities.

  • Cash-for-work. Clearing rubble. Households across the affected areas are receiving much needed support as they clear away collapsed buildings and restore irrigation systems. In Muzaffarabad, USAID support has helped remove nearly 80 percent of rubble, the first step in rebuilding homes and businesses in the urban center.
  • Delivering water. Water and sanitation systems are being restored in hundreds of rural villages
  • Restoring livelihoods. During the transition period, livelihoods programs have focused on vocational training, restoring community infrastructure, and agricultural assistance needed to jumpstart the summer and fall planting. Voucher programs have given households the tools they need to rebuild.
  • Rebuilding homes. At reconstruction hubs across the region, skilled and unskilled laborers are receiving training in earthquake-resistant construction. To support the Government of Pakistan, USAID programs are training Pakistani officials and Army engineers who will inspect compliance with earthquake-resistant housing construction standards. Additionally, USAID is continuing to provide essential shelter materials to the most vulnerable families.


Beginning in October 2006, USAID’s four-year, $200 million Earthquake Reconstruction program will rebuild schools and hospitals, improve education and health services, and improve economic well being in the earthquake-affected areas of NWFP and AJK.

  • Construction. Building back better is the underlying theme of the reconstruction program. Meeting earthquake-resistant building standards, USAID will build, furnish, and equip primary healthcare facilities and local hospitals as well as primary, middle, and high schools. During the first year of the program, USAID will begin construction of 50 schools and 15 healthcare facilities, including the construction of the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital in Bagh. The Model Boys School in Dadar, to be reopened October 2006, is the pilot project of this larger effort. ($130 million over five years)
  • Health. USAID will work with health officials and citizens to integrate, improve, and expand the network of health services for residents of the earthquake-affected areas. Regional hospitals and clinics will be able to ensure that people have better access to vital medical care by providing services that have a huge impact on health and survival. ($28 million over four years)
  • Education. Working with district education offices, teachers, and parents, USAID will help communities in the earthquake areas improve the quality of classroom instruction. Some 5,000 elementary, middle, and high school teachers will be trained in student-centered instruction, math, and science. USAID will also mobilize community participation by building effective parent associations that will assist in school reconstruction. ($13 million over four years)
  • Livelihoods. Finally, USAID will work to recover and expand the economy of the earthquake-affected areas through activities aimed at households and businesses. This program will help remote farmers and herders as they re-establish and expand crop systems, restore and care for livestock, repair water systems, and restore orchards, leading to better income opportunities. Women and vulnerable populations will make up at least 35 percent of the beneficiaries. ($28 million over three years)

08/17/06 – Fact Sheet #44 (PDF – 110kb)
03/17/06 – Map of Affected Areas and Relief Activities (PDF – 465kb)
–><!– 04/21/06 – Update #21 (PDF – 133kb)
–><!– 11/15/05 – Photo Gallery – Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes visits Muzaffarabad
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Global Development Commons: Connect. Collaborate. Innovate.

Commons LogoThe Global Development Commons promotes innovations for international development through knowledge sharing, partnerships, and collaborative problem-solving. Identifying and fostering innovations through open approaches can improve our ability to deliver on our core mission at the US Agency for International Development. We seek to enable any citizen of this world to co-create solutions to common problems because no single actor can solve today’s global challenges.

Read more »

Frequently-Asked Questions »


Open Innovation for Government

On Tuesday, April 14th, at an interactive panel called Open Innovation for Government: Answering President Obama’s Call for More Open, Effective Public Service, leaders for innovation from NASA, the State Department and the US Agency for International Development agreed that the federal government must create incentives and processes that enable citizens to offer feedback and co-create solutions with government employees. Offering ways to participate and collaborate can help agencies to innovate to achieve their core mandates for the American people. “At USAID, we are in a space where risk-taking is particularly appropriate, said Karen Turner, Office of Development Partners and Acting Director of the Global Development Commons at the US Agency for International Development. “The Global Development Commons promotes innovations that deliver better development.”

Dr. Beth Noveck, who leads President Obama’s Open Government directive for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, framed the discussion around the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration. “We are here today to listen, to celebrate these innovators, and to encourage more,” said Dr. Noveck.

Hosted by USAID’s Global Development Commons and the Post-conflict Reconstruction Project at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, the interactive discussion included a live streaming webcast featuring chat, available in an archived version at www.GlobalDevelopmentCommons.net/node/1679. More than 40 participants online from as far as Singapore asked questions in the hopes that their feedback would help shape policy.

My Note – I’m assuming that is from April of last year (2009).



Partnership with the Tech Awards

The alliance between USAID and The Tech Awards will support and promote innovative individuals, companies and organizations that use technology to improve the impact of international development efforts. USAID cultivated this partnership as part of an integrated strategy driven by its Global Development Commons to harness innovation in international development and apply it to the work of the agency.

“We’re honored to have the opportunity to work with USAID, a prestigious organization with global outreach and objectives very complementary to those of The Tech Awards program,” said Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum. “By working together, we can further accelerate the identification and recognition of people and projects around the world that are using innovative technologies to benefit humanity, and hopefully inspire more innovation as a result.”

Learn more about USAID’s activities with the Tech Awards

(also found on link from USAID above – do check into it.)


USAID Donates Medical Station to
St. Damien Hospital of Port-au-Prince

February 24, 2010
Press Office: 202-712-4320
Public Information: 202-712-4810


Photo Credit: Gina Jackson, USAID - click for access to high-resolution image
Port au Prince, HAITI – Members of the USAID DART Team along with Haitian volunteers unload donated tents and equipment at the orphanage.
Photo Credit: Gina Jackson, USAID - click for access to high-resolution image
Port au Prince, HAITI – Haitian volunteers help carry the donated tents and equipment to the field where they will be set up to house up to 100 displaced children.
Photo Credit: Gina Jackson, USAID - click for access to high-resolution image
Port au Prince, HAITI – A young Haitian boy helps unload the donated tents and equipment at the orphanage.
Photo Credit: Gina Jackson, USAID - click for access to high-resolution image
Port au Prince, HAITI – USAID DART Team leader, Tim Callaghan, and the USG Special Advisor for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Gary Newton, talk with partners from the orphanage, UNICEF and the Government of Haiti.

–>PORT-AU-PRINCE – Yesterday the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) donated a Federal Medical Station, valued at approximately $577,000, to St. Damien Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The pediatric hospital survived the 7.0 magnitude January 12 earthquake relatively unscathed, but was quickly overwhelmed by patients of all ages and unprepared for the numbers of adults requiring urgent care.

Father Rick Frechette, who runs St. Damien Hospital, said, “This gift from USAID gives us the chance to take the first few giant strides towards organizing a medical and surgical program for adults, especially those victims of the earthquake.”

The Federal Medical Station includes the components to stand up a 250-bed, acute-care facility, with an extensive medical cache to care for both inpatient and outpatient needs. This includes resuscitation kits for both adults and children and supplies to provide temporary stabilization for patients with respiratory failure. It also contains necessary items to stock a full pharmacy along with nursing, administrative, and housekeeping stations.

USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team Leader Tim Callaghan remarked, “We are so pleased to support the work of St. Damien Hospital and Father Frechette through this donation. We hope that the facility will serve the community well and ultimately alleviate a small amount of the suffering caused by the devastating earthquake last month.”

St. Damien Hospital is affiliated with Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, founded by American priest Father William Wasson. In addition to providing medical and surgical care, the organization runs a residence, camp activities, and school for orphans and other vulnerable children. It also distributes food and water to communities in need and provides vocational training opportunities. St. Damien Hospital is funded through private contributions and the support of Friends of the Orphans, Our Little Brothers and Sisters, and the Passionists, a Roman Catholic religious order.

For more information about this and other U.S. Government initiatives to support Haiti’s longer-term needs, or for high-res pictures of the photos available below, contact the U.S. Government Joint Information Center at HaitiJIC@usaid.gov.

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





★ | Afghanistan Recruitment – USAID is now recruiting for Foreign Service Limited appointments and other job opportunities in Afghanistan.

★ | Afghanistan – Working to build a safe, stable society that meets the needs of its people and eliminates an environment that breeds extremism.

★ | Recovery Act – USAID is working to implement The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Plans and reports are available here to ensure transparency.

★ | Open Government – USAID is committed to the President’s Open Government initiative, upholding the values of transparency, participation, and collaboration.




But this is the best one – (my note)

★ | Safeguarding the World’s Water – USAID invested over $489 million in FY 2008 for drinking water supply, sanitation and hygiene, water resources management and water productivity in more than 75 countries

Wonder how much good that is as of today?


★ | Sudan – The United States is the largest donor to Sudan, providing $6 billion in assistance since 2005.

That’s a lot of money – but added to the wars and USAID moneys going to Iraq and Afghanistan and damn near everywhere else – the world should be a perfect place . . .


oing Business with USAID

Acquisition and Assistance

FAIR Act Report

The Calendar Year 2008 FAIR Act inventory for Fiscal Year 2007 has been posted to the USAID web site. Click here to view the FAIR Act Report

The USAID Business site is your one-stop place for finding important information to get you started. USAID awards approximately $4 billion dollars each fiscal year in federal contracts and grants. Contracts are awarded primarily for technical assistance but also for commodities and/or equipment, transportation services and occasionally, construction. Grants are awarded for a variety of programs — some recurring (e.g., Food for Peace grants and other grant programs exclusively for Private Voluntary Organizations) — and some for unique non-recurring programs. All contracts and grants issued ultimately support objectives of that part of the U.S. foreign assistance program managed by USAID.

USAID utilizes various acquisition and assistance instruments to implement its activities. Contracts, grants, cooperative agreements and purchase orders are some of the instruments which are negotiated and signed worldwide by USAID. These instruments provide a variety of commodities and technical assistance to support the attainment of the agency’s objectives. Acquisition refers to obtaining goods and services, through various types of contracts, for the use or benefit of the Agency. Assistance refers to transferring funds (or other valuables) from USAID to another party for the implementation of programs which will contribute to the public good through the furtherance of the objectives of the Foreign Assistance Act.

The Central Contractor Registration/Business Partner Network Policy became effective October 1, 2003 for all contractors and recipients conducting business with the federal government. Please take the time to review this important information and visit the Central Contractor Registration Website at www.ccr.gov.

The CCR/BPN is a new e-gov initiative mandated by the President’s Management Agenda requiring a “single face to industry.” You may also register at the above website. This new policy will be reflected on the USAID Agency Website and will be noted in all new solicitations. Please email or call Terry Payne with any additional questions or concerns that you may have concerning CCR/BPN at the following address: tpayne@usaid.gov.

Please visit the Business section frequently for updated postings on this matter.

About one half of the contract and grant awards made by USAID are negotiated, issued and administered by our Washington D.C. Office of Procurement. The other half are negotiated, issued and administered by Contracting and Grant staff located at USAID Missions worldwide. Information regarding the vast majority of our worldwide business opportunities is accessible through this site.

In addition to business opportunities, this site provides all the regulatory and policy information needed for detailed searches to specific questions as well as general information especially helpful to those who are new to working with USAID.



Results-Oriented Assistance:
A USAID Sourcebook

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This Sourcebook is an electronic resource to assist in the design, award, and administration of results-oriented grants and cooperative agreements to implement foreign assistance activities.

Intended Audience: The Sourcebook is intended for both USAID staff and Development Partners.

Sourcebook Objectives: To create a “user friendly” resource for USAID staff and Development Partners (e.g., private voluntary organizations (PVOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), cooperative development organizations, educational institutions, and private firms) on USAID’s programming policies and procedures.

The Sourcebook will help USAID staff and Development Partners improve their ability to:

  • Manage for results through partnership relationships with the people and governments of assisted countries, U.S. businesses, private voluntary organizations (PVOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), cooperatives, the academic community, and other U.S. Government agencies;
  • Use results-oriented assistance instruments to plan, monitor, and evaluate achievement of results and performance targets;
  • Gather, analyze and report overall performance against intended results and Strategic Objective(s); and
  • Use performance monitoring and evaluation information to inform decision-making, make flexible adjustments when necessary, and highlight achievement of results.

What the Sourcebook is not is a collection of rigid rules or an Agency directive. It is a resource, not a requirement. While some of the primary sources discussed in this web site are mandatory, this Sourcebook is not intended to be cited as prescribing methods of achieving results. Examples and links are for reference only, and do not imply USAID endorsement of their content.

The Sourcebook is based on managing for results best practices developed by USAID and Development Partners. Throughout the Sourcebook, users have an opportunity to link to appropriate statutes, regulations, USAID policies, directives, and programming documents, such as results-oriented Requests for Applications (RFAs). In addition, there are links to other organizations whose managing for results practices have been reviewed. Send comments and suggestions to: Ms. Jean Horton, e-mail jhorton@usaid.gov, telephone 202-712-1431.

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the accessible version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
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About one half of the contract and grant awards made by USAID are negotiated, issued and administered by our Washington D.C. Office of Procurement. The other half are negotiated, issued and administered by Contracting and Grant staff located at USAID Missions worldwide. Information regarding the vast majority of our worldwide business opportunities is accessible through this site.

In addition to business opportunities, this site provides all the regulatory and policy information needed for detailed searches to specific questions as well as general information especially helpful to those who are new to working with USAID.



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Download the latest version our new bureau newsletter LAC News (pdf 621K) by clicking on the image above.


Latin America & the Caribbean

Download Latin America & Caribbean Profile
What’s New

Download the latest version of our bureau newsletter by clicking  here.

Download the latest version our new bureau newsletter LAC News (pdf 621K) by clicking on the image above.

USAID Assistance to Latin America & Caribbean
($ In Millions)

USAID Funding for Latin America and Caribbean


USAID Responds to Earthquake in Haiti

U.S. foreign policy in Latin America and the Caribbean is designed to help governments respond to their citizens by strengthening democracy, creating widespread long-term economic growth, and promoting security.  This policy has borne fruit in the emergence of democratic states, and improved social justice and economic competitiveness.  Despite advances in these areas, many people continue to be denied access to opportunity.  Large segments of the population have yet to enjoy the full benefits of democracy and economic growth; they lack the jobs, healthcare, education, and safety that are needed to improve their lives.  The Western Hemisphere currently has some of the highest rates of income inequality in the world and 80 percent of its indigenous peoples live in abject poverty.  Inadequate economic policies, coupled with weak institutions, continue to undermine delivery of critical public services and the growth of a robust private sector-led, broad-based growth.  As a result, the ability of democratic governments to deliver services is being questioned in the region.  Moreover, while many countries have improved their ability to compete in the international market, they often lag behind developing countries in other regions.

To address these challenges, the United States is working to consolidate and deepen democratic gains so that everyone not only has a voice in electing their leaders, but also has the opportunity to raise their standard of living and to determine their destiny.  U.S. foreign assistance will continue to fight corruption, promote the rule of law, and create the kind of democratic and just governance necessary to ensure that economic opportunity is not limited to elites, but instead extends to all members of society.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is a U.S. Government agency implementing important foreign assistance programs throughout the region.  The Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) oversees 16 bilateral missions, 4 regional programs, and Washington-based programs for Cuba.  The overall total budget for FY08 is approximately $963 million.

USAID Priorities in Latin America and Caribbean:

Promoting democratic practices;

  • Advancing economic development;
  • Providing responsive services for particularly marginalized populations;
  • Improving the quality of basic education and health care;
  • Providing humanitarian relief to refugees and displaced persons.

Per the U.S. Department of State-USAID Joint Strategic Plan (FY 2007-2012), below are summary descriptions of U.S. foreign assistance activi-ties in the Western Hemisphere by objective.


Peace & Security (FY 08 $208 Million):

With all but one of the hemisphere’s governments elected democratically, the principal security threat is no longer state to state warfare, but terrorism, organized crime, and trafficking in people and illicit goods, including illegal narcotics, which transcend national boundaries. The United States, working through the Summit of the Americas and the OAS, will continue to help reshape the Western Hemisphere’s security agenda and institutions. Through law enforcement and intelligence cooperation, the ability to respond to new threats will be strengthened. The U.S. will continue building a new understanding of the linkage between security, economic prosperity, and the well-being of democratic institutions. Efforts will continue to reduce trafficking in persons and illicit goods, and provide alternatives to rural livelihoods built on the production of illegal narcotics.

Governing Justly & Democratically (FY 08 $158 Million):

Assistance programs will support efforts to create competitive and inclusive political systems so that all citizens have access to political power. With greater competition, less corruption, greater accountability of elected officials, and better stewardship of state resources, citizens of the region will enjoy an improved quality of life. To achieve this, programs will strengthen judicial independence and capacity, internal controls, and effective prosecution of corruption and other complex crimes. Assistance programs will also strengthen institutions of representative democracy, such as political parties, legislatures, executive agencies, media, and civil society.  In order to oppose tyranny in Cuba and support the Cuban people during this time of uncertainty, we will fulfill our Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba (CAFC II) commitment.

Investing In People and Humanitarian Assistance (FY 08 $390 Million):

Poverty, inequality, and social and political exclusion have denied many in the Americas access to opportunity. The United States will continue to invest in improved access to and quality of basic and advanced education, training, and health care, reduction of disease and disability, improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation services, better protection and management of natural and environmental resources, and security for their families and their property. The United States will provide life-saving humanitarian relief to refugees, displaced persons, and other vulnerable populations facing violent conflict, crisis, natural disasters, famine, persistent and dire poverty, and HIV/AIDS. The USG will also prepare for possible pandemics such as avian influenza. Programs will focus on preparation for potential natural disasters and environmental protection, and will help U.S. hemispheric neighbors develop the capacity to overcome these challenges and reduce vulnerabilities. These efforts will continue to help unlock the vast potential of the peoples of the Americas and will contribute to the sustainability of democracy and economic growth.

Economic Growth(FY 08 $206 Million):

Access to economic opportunity, and the social mobility that it creates, are fundamental components of social justice and promoting prosperity. The U.S. will work with governments to fight poverty in the region by reducing the obstacles to entering the formal economy, implementing free trade agreements in Central America, the Dominican Republic, and the Andes, and improving weak investment climates. Assistance programs will enhance the ability of countries to improve income equality by increasing access of the poor to productive assets, improve the capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises, especially in the rural sector, to participate in and benefit from trade-led growth in a competitive, global environment. The U.S. will continue to press for market reform, transparency, and regulatory and legal environments conducive to opening and expanding the domestic private sector as well as attracting investment – domestic and foreign – that will expand employment opportunities. Programs will improve access to energy and explore possibilities of alternative fuels both as a way to create renewable energy as well as a source of employment. The U.S. will work to strengthen institutional capacities to reinforce labor rights, reduce corruption, and improve the overall environment for investment.

Linkages With The Millennium Challenge Corporation:

In addition to the above assistance, ongoing Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) funding includes compacts with Nicaragua ($175 million), Honduras ($215 million), El Salvador ($461 million), and a Threshold Country Program for Paraguay ($35 million) and Guyana ($7 million) and Peru ($35.6 million).



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Latin America and Caribbean Countries

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Mexico Guatemala El Salvador Cuba Jamaica Dominican Republic Haiti Honduras Nicaragua Panama Colombia Ecuador Peru Bolivia Guyana Paraguay Brazil

Click on any country above or the link below to view country pages.

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Alternatives to Asphalt and Concrete Paving as Temporary Road Track

Asphalt and Concrete Paving Alternatives

The US Army Air Corps initially developed landing mats as alternatives to asphalt or concrete paving for aircraft runways and temporary taxi road track. They rapidly became alternatives as a surfacing tool for temporary road track for vehicles and construction equipment. Many veterans entering civilian jobs remembered the versatility and ease of installation, which they shared with various industries. By using landing mats as alternatives to asphalt and concrete paving, this temporary road track provided an economical, time-saving option. The use of landing mats far exceeds the use of wood and plastic mats on the market today, in strength and durability. Many common industries that use landing mats as temporary road track or as alternatives to asphalt and concrete paving include:

– Construction
– Landscaping and Ground Maintenance Contractors
– Drilling
– RV and Mobile Home Transporters
– Utility
– Local and National Cemeteries
– Irrigation Track
– Water Districts

Landing Mats as Temporary Road Track

Landing mats are used for temporary road and access track in many of these industries. They are also used as alternatives to asphalt and concrete road paving, for temporary storage pads for supplies and equipment. When used as temporary road track, steel landing mats provide less of an environmental problem, and help ease the requirement of permits for traditional road using asphalt, gravel, or concrete. Landing mats provide temporary road track and traction over unstable terrain, such as sand or mud, and eliminate rutting and compression into existing landscapes.

Many industries use mats as temporary road track or temporary work pads for their ease and speed in installation, which offer better alternatives to asphalt or concrete road paving, and lessen the environmental impact. Landing mats also are used as temporary road track and paving for portable boat or sea plane ramps, since the steel landing mats’ high manganese content make them highly resistant to corrosion.

The Colorado River Municipal Water District in Big Spring, Texas took an innovative approach to solve a drought related problem. The result is a temporary “moveable” boat ramp at E.V. Spence Reservoir.

Mr. Okla Thornton has offered to share the following article from the News and Information newsletter for the Colorado River Municipal Water District:

Asphalt and Paving Alternatives - Landing Mats


The Marston Mat as Portable Runways

The US Army Corp developed steel landing mats as an alternative surfacing for portable airfield runways just prior to World War II. Though rigid enough to bridge over small surface inequalities on the ground, the landing mats were best used on stabilized sub grade. These original landing mats were commonly known as Marston mats, or PSP (Pierced Steel Plank).

The PSP or Marston mats are 16″ by 10′ and are approximately .140″ thick. This runway matting are made of hardened steel for strength and to resist corrosion. These portable runways mats have a punched hole pattern consisting of three rows of 29 holes, resulting in 87 holes per mat. They also have two corrugated U shaped channels formed between the rows of holes.

The Marston mat was utilized for military aircraft portable runways, beach landings, temporary roads, airfield taxing routes and storage pads for heavy equipment and supplies. The Marston mat was used extensively during World War II by front line construction personnel to build portable runways and other readily usable surfaces over all kinds of terrain in the Pacific Theater of Operations. In various countries in the Pacific Theater, particularly New Guinea, matting remains in use as fencing or road barriers, in some cases stretching for miles.

Even though the Marston mat or PSP became the runway matting deployed nearly universally, the Air Corps seriously considered using aluminum. This material offered the opportunity of reducing the mats weight so that smaller planes could carry it into areas inaccessible to heavier aircraft. The design of the lightweight aluminum alloy planks mirrored the standard PSP. Since its service life was only half as long, the aluminum landing mat never replaced the steel during the World War as portable runways.

The M8A1 as Portable Runways

A solid corrugated landing mat was developed and utilized as portable runways, and used extensively during the Vietnam War as portable runways for aircraft. With the use of jet powered aircraft replacing propeller driven aircraft, problems with foreign object debris (FOD) arose. Jet engines safety and performance was degraded. For this reason, the M8A1 mat was designed. The M8A1 mats were 12′ by 22″ and constructed from a solid sheet of steel, contained no holes. They were reinforced by 4 corrugated channels the length of the mat. These mats were eventually replaced with the AM-2 aluminum mat as portable runways. Because of the high resale value of the aluminum mats, many still use the steel mats for large projects, such as runway matting.

The JR Mat

The JR mat is the European equivalent of the M8A1. Measuring 10′ by 18″, it is slightly smaller, but still has the performance of the M8A1. The JR mat is a solid steel mat with 3 corrugations running the length of the mat. The JR mat is made of a hardened steel to give them strength and resist corrosion. To benefit traction, each mat is embossed. Because of their size, the JR mats make great portable runways.

Contact Calumet for more information about Portable Runways today.


Runway Matting



Three VFP shelter modules were assembled with decorative additions blend with structures in a residential neighborhood.


Shelter interior with some components installed


Concrete shelter awaiting shipment

Concrete Construction

Concrete shelter with aggregate exterior finish.

VFP concrete shelters are pre-assembled reinforced solid concrete construction. The completed shelter is inherently bullet, vandal and fire resistant. Our standard four inch (10 cm) wall construction provides a 2-hour fire endurance rating which is recognized and valid in the following model codes: UBC, SBC, BOCA.

The walls, roof and floor panels are welded together into a single unit for maximum structural strength. Each panel to panel joint includes a double seal for superior weather protection.

Foundation and Floor

Foundation requirements vary with the local terrain and soil conditions. The VFP concrete shelter has been designed for installation on a variety of foundations that include concrete slabs, compacted gravel, piers, and perimeter grade beams.

Concrete shelter liftpoint

VFP will provide a suggested anchor location, but the site designer is cautioned that all foundations must be evaluated in consideration of local soil conditions, seismic requirements, and local building restrictions.

The floor is six-inch (15 cm) thick precast reinforced concrete, insulated and equipped with integral lifting points.

VFP’s unique floor section is constructed with a recessed step-joint. This step-joint, which is part of our triple sealed floor-to-wall construction, eliminates any possibility of water intrusion into the shelter. The interior floor is covered with a high quality commercial grade light color vinyl tile.

Wall Construction

Shelter interior with some equipment installed Shelter interior with some components installed

Shelter interior with some components installed

The standard wall is constructed of four-inch (10 cm) thick reinforced concrete. Each wall is constructed using a two-step keyway joint. This keyway joint is part of our double-sealed wall-to-wall construction, eliminating the possibility of water intrusion into the shelter.

Typically, the shelter is sheathed with a composite wall panel that includes high performance insulation. The white color allows maximum utilization of available light. The interior panel also supports electrical and mechanical wall mounted components and provides a convenient structural surface to mount additional components on site.

Pitched Roof

Concrete shelter awaiting shipmentConcrete shelter awaiting shipment

Concrete shelter awaiting shipment

The roof section is constructed of minimum 4 inch (10 cm) thick reinforced concrete, sloped from the center to allow water runoff. The exterior of the roof is covered with an ultraviolet resistant, reflective elastomeric coating to prevent water intrusion.

The roof section is a “cap” that fits over the shelter walls leaving no exposed roof-to-wall joints. This joint, along with our double-sealed roof-to-wall construction, eliminates the possibility of water intrusion into the shelter.

The ceiling is sheathed with a composite panel that includes high performance insulation. The panel is covered with an aesthetically pleasing white laminate.


Remote installation of a VFP concrete shelter

The walls and roof are insulated with high performance insulation that provides a thermal value of R-11. The floor section is insulated using a polystyrene insulation.

Moisture Resistance

VFP concrete shelters are engineered to restrict the possibility of moisture intrusion. Not only do we recess the floor-to-wall joint and provide a keyway, wall-to-wall connection, we also apply to the roof a UV-resistant elastomeric coating which will not crack, peel or flake.

All exterior air intake and exhaust openings are fitted with color matched weather hoods. VFP installed equipment and conduits that penetrate the shelter walls will be sealed with urethane caulk.

Interior Components

VFP provides a wide variety of pre-wired and pre-installed interior components. These include lights, convenience receptacles, power distribution, HVAC systems, UPS systems, and generators. Visit our quote request page for detailed options. [Quote Request]

Modular Structures

Three VFP shelter modules were assembled with decorative additions blend with structures in a residential neighborhood.

VFP’s modular structures are designed to accommodate projects that require complexes larger than the typical single shelter size. These prefabricated structures allow us to provide a modular solution for any building size. VFP field service personnel provide on-site installations and assemble the modules into a single building.

Exterior Finishes

The standard exterior is an aesthetically pleasing exposed aggregate finish. A clear coat sealer is applied to the stone exterior which provides UV protection and enhances the color of the stone. Optional finishes are available to meet specific applications. [more]

Find Out More

Feel free to ask us about our concrete shelters. Or, enter your specifications on our Quote Request page.


Modular Structures

Concrete shelter modules with decorative additions in residential  neighborhoodThree VFP shelter modules were assembled with decorative additions blend with structures in a residential neighborhood.

VFP’s modular structures are designed to accommodate projects that require complexes larger than the typical single shelter size. These prefabricated structures allow us to provide a modular solution for any building size. VFP field service personnel provide on-site installations and assemble the modules into a single building.

Exterior Finishes

The standard exterior is an aesthetically pleasing exposed aggregate finish. A clear coat sealer is applied to the stone exterior which provides UV protection and enhances the color of the stone. Optional finishes are available to meet specific applications. [more]

My Note – I just couldn’t believe the camouflage – and so nifty –

– cricketdiane


Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc.

FLASH, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting disaster safety and property loss mitigation. Its mission is to promote life safety, property protection and economic well-being by strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. The FLASH website is loaded with tools, tips and guidelines for hurricane and mold resistant construction techniques, homeowner information, and more.



American Composites Manufacturers Association, ACMA

1010 North Glebe Rd., Suite 450, Arlington, VA  22201

Phone:  703-525-0743

Email:  info@acmanet.org

Website:  http://www.acmanet.org/

ACMA Headlines:

Commerce Department Official to Speak at COMPOSITES 2010

Rick Wade, Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will address the composites industry during Composites 2010. During the 8:00 a.m. General Session on Wednesday, February 10th, he will speak about issues such as exporting, access to capital and manufacturing.

(like those composites used for earthquake and hurricane resistant building systems, construction materials and rebuilding in earthquake / hurricane / extreme events zones – my note)


Interesting information I found on wikipedia entries recently (and then forgot to attribute where I found them – but they are on there somewhere under the energy subjects groups) – my note

In 2008, total worldwide energy consumption was 474 exajoules (5 x 1020 J) with 80 to 90 percent derived from the combustion of fossil fuels. This is equivalent to an average power consumption rate of 15 terawatts (1.504 x 1013 W). Not all of the world’s economies track their energy consumption with the same rigor, and the exact energy content of a barrel of oil or a ton of coal will vary with quality.

Most of the world’s energy resources are from the sun’s rays hitting earth. Some of that energy has been preserved as fossil energy, some is directly or indirectly usable, for example, via wind, hydro- or wave power. The term solar constant is the amount of incoming solar electromagnetic radiation per unit area, measured on the outer surface of Earth’s atmosphere, in a plane perpendicular to the rays. The solar constant includes all types of solar radiation, not just visible light. It is measured by satellite to be roughly 1366 watts per square meter, though it fluctuates by about 6.9% during a year – from 1412 W m2 in early January to 1321 W m2 in early July, due to the Earth’s varying distance from the sun, and by a few parts per thousand from day to day. For the whole Earth, with a cross section of 127,400,000 km2, the total energy rate is 174 petawatts (1.740 x 1017 W), plus or minus 3.5%. This value is the total rate of solar energy received by the planet; about half, 89 PW reaches the Earth’s surface.

Values are PW  =  1015 watt.

Mostly thanks to the Sun, the world also has a renewable usable energy flux that exceeds 120 PW (8000 times 2004 total usage), or 3.8 YJ/yr, dwarfing all non-renewable resources.

The United States Energy Information Administration regularly publishes a report on world consumption for most types of primary energy resources.

Solar Power –

The available solar energy resources are 3.8 YJ/yr (120,000 TW). Less than 0.02% of available resources are sufficient to entirely replace fossil fuels and nuclear power as an energy source.

The consumption of solar hot water and solar space heating was estimated at 88 GWt (gigawatts of thermal power) in 2004. The heating of water for unglazed swimming pools is excluded.

Geothermal –

Geothermal energy is used commercially in over 70 countries. In the year 2004, 200 PJ (57 TWh) of electricity was generated from geothermal resources, and an additional 270 PJ of geothermal energy was used directly, mostly for space heating. In 2007, the world had a global capacity for 10 GW of electricity generation and an additional 28 GW of direct heating, including extraction by geothermal heat pumps. Heat pumps are small and widely distributed, so estimates of their total capacity are uncertain and range up to 100 GW. Heat pump capacity factors are low since demand is seasonal.

By Country –

Energy consumption is loosely correlated with gross national product, but there is a  large difference even between the most highly developed countries, such as Japan and Germany with 6 kW per person and the United States with 11.4 kW per person.

In developing countries such as India the per person energy use is closer to 0.7 kW. Bangladesh has the lowest consumption with 0.2 kW per person.

The US consumes 25% of the world’s energy with a share of global GDP at 22% and a share of the world population at 5%. The most significant growth of energy consumption is currently taking place in China, which has been growing at 5.5% per year over the last 25 years. Its population of 1.3 billion people (20% of the world population) is consuming energy at a rate of 1.6 kW per person.

One metric of efficiency is energy intensity. This is a measure of the amount of energy it takes a country to produce a dollar of gross domestic product.


Chk pp. 76

Chk pp. 32


1 watt hour  =  3600 J

100 W lightbulb  =  100 x 3600 Joules

36,000 Joules to run one lightbulb (100 Watts)

  • The work required to continuously produce one watt of power for one second; or one watt second (W/s)(compare kilowatt hour.) This relationship can be used to define the watt.


The kilojoule (kJ) is equal to one thousand joules. One kilojoule is about the amount of solar radiation received by one square metre of the Earth in one second.

Food labels in some countries express food energy in kilojoules.

(from asstd. Wikipedia entries)


Energy consumption is loosely correlated with gross national product, but there is a large difference even between the most highly developed countries, such as Japan and Germany with 6 kW per person and United States with 11.4 kW per person. In developing countries such as India the per person energy use is closer to 0.7 kW. Bangladesh has the lowest consumption with 0.2 kW per person.

The US consumes 25% of the world’s energy with a share of global GDP at 22% and a share of the world population at 5%. The most significant growth of energy consumption is currently taking place in China, which has been growing at 5.5% per year over the last 25 years. Its population of 1.3 billion people (20% of the world population is consuming energy at a rate of 1.6 kW per person.


One metric of efficiency is energy intensity. This is a measure of the amount of energy it takes a country to produce a dollar of gross domestic product.

By Sector –

Industrial users (agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and construction) consume about 37% of the total 15 TW. Personal and commercial transportation consumes 20% residential heating, lighting, and appliances use 11%; and commercial uses (lighting, heating and cooling of commercial buildings, and provision of water and sewer services) amount to 5% of the total.

The other 27% of the world’s energy is lost in energy transmission and generation. In 2005, global electricity consumption averaged 2 TW. The energy rate used to generate 2 TW of electricity is approximately 5 TW, as the efficiency of a typical existing power plant is around 38%. The new generation of gas-fired plants reaches a substantially higher efficiency of 55%. Coal is the most common fuel for the world’s electricity plants.

(From -)

wikipedia entries about energy – electricity and power sources


Nuclear fusion –

Fusion power is the process driving our sun and other stars. It generates large quantities of heat by fusing the nuclei of hydrogen or helium isotopes, which may be derived from seawater. The heat can theoretically be harnessed to generate electricity. The temperatures and pressures needed to sustain fusion make it a very difficult process to control. The tantalizing potential of fusion is its theoretical ability to supply vast quantities of energy, with relatively little pollution. Although both the United States and the European Union, along with other countries, are supporting fusion research (such as investing in the ITER facility), according to one report, inadequate research has stalled progress in fusion research for the past 20 years.




Advanced Composites

Advances in materials science have opened a world of possibilities for businesses. The South Main Company is helping smart companies capitalize on these breakthroughs. With imaginative designs, practical solutions and quick-to-market cycle times, our design engineers are creating an amazingly diverse array of affordable applications:

– High-performance composite structures for aircraft and aircraft engines
– Lightweight automotive components that save fuel and increase safety
– Shock-resistant modular flooring systems for all classes of navy ships
– Portable wall systems that provide quick assembly for enclosures and shelters
– Eye-catching design panels for architectural and retail applications

Beyond carbon fiber, we’re crafting engineered solutions from a diverse palette of fiber reinforcements and resins to leverage the characteristics of advanced composites:

Corrosion Resistance
Thermal Insulation
Electrical Shielding
Fire Resistance
Thermal Conductivity
Electrical Conductivity
X-Ray Transparency
Low Observables

Lightweight, strong and infinitely versatile; we are tailoring composites to our client’s individual performance requirements. Let The South Main Company harness the true potential of advanced composites technology into a competitive edge for you.

(Really some interesting possibilities here, my note)