WASHINGTON – The U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), signed an updated international disaster assistance Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Washington, Wednesday.
The MOU outlines support for foreign humanitarian assistance and disaster response, strengthening the Coast Guard and USAID’s partnership in responding to global disasters.
The signing ceremony was attended by Matthew Nims, deputy assistant to the administrator of USAID BHA, and Vice Adm. Peter Gautier, Coast Guard deputy commandant for operations, signifying a significant milestone in the coordination between the Coast Guard and USAID.
“As a humanitarian organization, the Coast Guard is strengthening our partnership with USAID as we respond to wide-ranging disasters,” said Gautier. “Throughout the world we see USAID’s vital work in progress: saving lives, alleviating human suffering and reducing the impact of disasters by helping people become more resilient to humanitarian crises. The MOU makes sure that the Coast Guard is a strong partner in these efforts.”
The Coast Guard and USAID have a history of joint disaster response, including earthquake relief in Haiti in 2010 and 2021, and recent support for Tropical Cyclone Lola in Vanuatu.
The updated MOU addresses the growing frequency and complexity of disasters, enhancing the Coast Guard's ability to assist USAID in responding to global crises. The agreement also leverages the Coast Guard's unique capabilities and statutory authorities, enabling the Service to provide vital assistance, including maritime search and rescue and port operations to ensure the safe delivery of essential supplies.
USAID, the principal U.S. agency for foreign aid, collaborates closely with the Coast Guard to mitigate the impact of disasters globally. The previous MOU was co-signed in 2011.