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FEMA commits $344 million to N.Y. recovery effort

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has committed more than $344 million to the response-and-recovery effort following the September 11 terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center towers.

Much of the money is targeted for emergency services and the removal of debris. However, the amount also includes $9.4 million in low-interest loans issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration to aid homeowners, renters, business owners and nonprofit organizations affected by the disaster, FEMA spokesman George Thune said Monday.

Other agencies also are receiving funds as FEMA coordinates the federal response to the disaster, he said. The agency's Voluntary Agency Liaison said about 130 agencies and organizations are helping in the recovery effort. Fifteen New York counties are eligible for federal disaster assistance.

FEMA efforts under way include:

-- More than 1,600 personnel are assisting in recovering operations.

-- More than 20 Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces have been working rotating shifts, including 1,240 firefighters aided by 80 search dogs.

-- Nearly 200 Disaster Medical Assistance Team workers have treated nearly 5,600 patients, mostly police, firefighters and construction workers. Members of Veterinary Medical Assistance teams have given medical aid to search-and-rescue dogs.

-- Twenty-four community relations teams are working with disaster victims, community groups and local officials. The focus is on neighborhoods in south Manhattan, including Battery Park City, Chinatown, the Lower East Side, Greenwich Village and Soho.


• Federal Emergency Management Agency

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