As part of the Disaster Management Preparedness cooperation, the North Dakota National Guard, through the Embassy and US AFRICOM, offered two containers of equipment and materials to Benin’s Fire Brigade.
Following a request made by the Ministry of National Defense on December 2016, the Embassy requested the assistance of AFRICOM and the State Partnership Program to request equipment through the program of the Department of Defense of the United States titled “Excess Property.” The Defense Department program provides and distributes surplus stockpile materials to help prevent humanitarian crises, and promote democratic governance and regional stability.
The program also aims to help countries overcome humanitarian crises or conflicts. Surplus equipment is used for humanitarian purposes and is transferred to the State Department for delivery to beneficiaries, normally to a country ministry, charity or non-governmental organization.
In the present case, the request was to assist firefighters by providing equipment to each region of the country, and to help combat floods. The equipment was provided by the Department of Defense and entrusted to the Ambassador for delivery.
The two 40-foot containers shipped to Benin contain:
Helmets, to name but a few.
The total value of the items donated is approximately $228,000 USD or the equivalent of 127,000,000 FCFA.
The National Guard of North Dakota executes several other programs with the Beninese Armed Forces, the National Civil Protection Agency and the National Association of Fire Brigades. The visit last July of Major General Alan Dohrmann, Commander National Guard of the State of North Dakota is proof of a strong partnership.