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Press Release

United States Provides Additional Assistance to Marshall Islands’ Drought Relief

Representatives from IOM, U.S. Embassy Majuro, and MWSC with two of the donated RO units (Credit: State Department).

Representatives from IOM, U.S. Embassy Majuro, and MWSC with two of the donated RO units.

Water-filled 5-gallon water containers provided by USAID being loaded onto a boat for shipment to the drought-affected areas in the northern Marshall Islands (Credit: State Department).

Water-filled 5-gallon water containers provided by USAID being loaded onto a boat for shipment to the drought-affected areas in the northern Marshall Islands.

For immediate release--May 16, 2013

The United States turned over two additional solar powered mobile reverse osmosis (RO) machines to the Government of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) on May 16.  The two units will be sent on May 17 to the atolls of Ailuk and Maloelap to help provide relief to communities suffering from severe drought. 

The two units are part of a total of 13 new solar powered mobile reverse osmosis machines which are capable of producing 360 gallons of water per day.  The water created by these machines will be used for emergency relief on the worst affected atolls and will be integrated into a longer-term strategy to ensure water security and disaster resilience for the region.  The RMI National Disaster Committee will determine the destinations where the remaining 11 RO units will be placed.  

Already to date, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has donated seven reverse osmosis machines to the Marshall Islands to enhance drought response capability in the country.  The machines, which can each produce between 250 and 350 gallons of safe drinking water per day, have been delivered to Lib and Mejit islands and Ailuk, Lae, Likiep, Namu, and Wotho atolls. 

Since Ambassador Armbruster issued a U.S. disaster declaration for drought in RMI on May 10, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), through IOM, has provided more than 570 hygiene kits and approximately 1,150 collapsible water containers filled with a total of 6,000 gallons of safe drinking water, as well as 75 empty water containers, to 705 drought-affected households, or approximately 4,200 people.