Navajo President Ben Shelly Thanks President Obama for Disaster Assistance

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Contact: Jared King
Communications Director
Navajo Nation Washington Office
Cell 202-200-0625

For Immediate Release

Navajo President Ben Shelly Thanks President Obama for Disaster Assistance

WASHINGTON—Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly thanked President Obama today for issuing an emergency declaration for the Navajo Nation’s recent Operation Winter Freeze, where extreme temperatures left more than 10,000 people in multiple communities on the Navajo Nation without water, due to frozen and broken waterlines.

“The Stafford Act amendments signed by President Obama, and endorsed by FEMA, allows the Navajo Nation and other tribal nations to request declarations of emergency disasters like Operation Winter Freeze. I thank President Obama for making federal aid available to the Navajo Nation.”

Federal funding is available to the Navajo Nation and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe freeze according to a news release issued today by the White House.

Prior to the Stafford Act amendments, tribal nations had to rely on states to declare and request emergency assistance. These provisions honor the nation-to-nation relationship and allow for more expedient processing of critical emergency funding.

“We look forward to working with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Special Advisor for National Tribal Affairs Richard Flores as FEMA moves forward with tribal consultation in this historic measure,” President Shelly added.

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