Several U.S. government agencies work together to deliver humanitarian assistance supplies donated by private entities and nongovernmental organizations to countries in need. The Denton Program for private donations is a joint humanitarian assistance effort undertaken by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
“We want the people of Nicaragua to see the goodwill that so many Americans have for this country,” U.S. Ambassador Laura Dogu remarked following her announcement of the Denton flight arrival on social media. Thousands of Nicaraguans expressed their gratitude on social media in response to Ambassador Dogu’s posts on recent Denton flights.
In October the South Carolina Air National Guard mobilized a U.S. Air Force C-17 from the 437th Airlift Wing and the 315th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, to transport close to one ton of humanitarian supplies from two organizations on a Denton Program flight to Nicaragua. The Princeton Fire Department in New Jersey and the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas, Inc. donated 40 pallets of equipment and supplies for the benefit of thousands of Nicaraguans in need.
The Princeton Fire Department shipped about 3,000 kilograms of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the firefighters of Nicaragua’s volunteer fire brigade Benemérito Cuerpo de Bomberos de Managua (BCBM), including boots, masks, self-contained breathing apparatuses, hoses, and tools worth approximately $75,000. The firefighting PPE will improve emergency services to 209,000 Managua civilians who reside in the four districts that Managua’s fire brigade serves.
“Managua’s Benemérito Cuerpo de Bomberos had the pleasure of receiving a significant donation valued at approximately US$ 70,000,” said Captain Gabriel A. Fuentes Castro, secretary of the governing board of BCBM. “The donation arrived in Nicaragua thanks to the Denton Program. It’s worth highlighting that the donation includes Personal Protection Equipment for firefighters, which will strengthen the security of our personnel when intervening in any emergency.”
For its part, the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas, Inc., a non-profit organization in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, provided 6,500 kilograms of donated goods, including cabinets and bookshelves, sewing machines and supplies, hospital and first aid supplies, bicycles, and bakery supplies for cooking classes at local Nicaraguan schools. An estimated 8,000 Nicaraguan people in the Managua area and western Nicaragua benefitted from the shipment, worth approximately $50,000.
“Having transportation is a big part of the equation. We simply cannot thank you enough,” said Amy L. Wiza, executive director of Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas, Inc. “Your efforts have made it possible to help improve the quality of life in Nicaragua”.
The C-17 arrived in Managua’s Augusto C. Sandino International Airport on October 8th, for delivery of the material to the fire brigade and to the local representative of the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas. In turn, their local representatives distributed the material throughout various local learning centers, public hospitals, schools, orphanages, and other community-oriented programs.
U.S. Air Force mobilizes largest plane in inventory
In September, the U.S. Air Force’s largest aircraft, the C-5 Galaxy, arrived in Nicaragua carrying three ambulances and two water tankers that Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the America, Inc. donated to the Nicaraguan Civil Volunteer Firemen Association. According to information from the U.S. Embassy in Managua, the equipment was worth approximately $250,000.
And in April, the Galaxy first arrived in Managua with over 37,000 kilograms of food and 9,500 kilograms of fire extinguishing equipment donated by U.S. nongovernmental organizations Abundant Rain Ministries and Bend Fire Fighters Foundation. The equipment was distributed throughout local organizations to benefit Nicaraguan fire brigades and local people in need.
“The Wisconsin-Nicaragua Partners program in collaboration with various donating non-governmental agencies is really making a difference through their relationships with local Nicaraguan organizations”, said U.S. Army Colonel Darren Lynn, senior defense official at the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua. “All of this would not be possible without the transportation provided by U.S. Air Force aircraft thanks to the Denton Program’s relationship with USTRANSCOM [U.S. Transportation Command]. The transportation provided by these outstanding airmen is the critical link in the entire process!”