New Guardacosta unit will deliver humanitarian assistance

Members of the new unit inspect the items that were donated. The members of the unit will be charged with forcing their way into areas that have been cut off by natural disasters and bringing humanitarian aid. They also may have to escort residents elsewhere. Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo

Security officials announced Wednesday that they have created a new humanitarian aid unit that will be part of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas.

The U.S. Embassy in San José gave part of a donation valued at $11,500, which consists of supplies and equipment to the 30-person unit, according to a press release.

A ministry spokesperson said that the Unidad de Ayuda Humanitaria will be in charge of delivering supplies and assistance to communities on the coast that have been cut off by natural disasters.

The unit will be made up of 30 coast guard officers that are trained in emergency medical care, according to the press release. Officials said that this group will help in search and rescue operations in addition to their primary function of responding to coastal communities in disasters.

The Guardacosta is an agency within the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguirdad Pública.

The U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Southern Command made a donation jointly. According to the press release, that donation largely consists of equipment like helmets, gloves, lights, axes and machetes.

Officials waited to announce the project until the unit was ready to be put into action, according to the spokesperson.

He added that they will be working on both coasts, but he did not specify if the unit will be split up so they can be stationed on both coasts.

Officials said that this group will help in search and rescue operations in addition to their primary function of responding to coastal communities in disasters.

The Guardacosta is an agency within the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguirdad Pública.

The U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Southern Command made a donation jointly. According to the press release, that donation largely consists of equipment like helmets, gloves, lights, axes and machetes.

Officials waited to announce the project until the unit was ready to be put into action, according to the spokesperson.

He added that they will be working on both coasts, but he did not specify if the unit will be split up so they can be stationed on both coasts.

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