Czech Republic sends first humanitarian aid to US


On Sunday the Czech Republic sent its first delivery of humanitarian aid for victims of hurricane Katrina in the United States. Comprising some 24,000 blankets, 600 camp beds, as well as a number of hall-sized tents, the aid is the first of its kind from the Czech Republic to the US. Its sending was coordinated within NATO, also the first time the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has taken part in organised aid to the United States.

The US Ambassador to Prague, William Cabaniss, was on hand at a ceremony on Sunday to accept the aid offer, noting the symbolism of the gesture on September 11th, four years after New York and Washington were struck by the terrorist attacks.

The Czech aid package is worth 25 million crowns, the equivalent of around one million US dollars. The Czech Republic is also ready to provide part of a field hospital, fire-fighters, and experts in removing environmental damage.