U.S. Special Operations Africa supports donation of humanitarian assistance to Equatorial Guinea
U.S. servicemembers from Special Operations Command Africa (left) pose for a photo with U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea David R. Gilmour (second from right) and Ramon Bengono Miko, Presidential Counselor for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Gender (right) during the delivery of humanitarian aid, February 2, 2024, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Sierra Melendez) VIEW ORIGINAL
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Malabo, Equatorial Guinea – Through a joint effort, U.S. Special Operations Africa delivered a donation of humanitarian supplies with assistance from II Marine Expeditionary Force USS Hershel "Woody" Williams (ESB-4) Detachment in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, February 2, 2024. U.S. forces worked concurrently with the government of Equatorial Guinea to facilitate this engagement signifying sustained relations between the two nations. The Equatorial Guinea Ministry of Social Affairs and Gender received the donation of $24,000 worth of supplies and will disburse it to local shelters and orphanages within the community.

“We are very thankful to have the opportunity to work with the Equatorial Guinea Ministry of Social Affairs and Gender, Marine Forces Europe and Africa, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, and the U.S. Embassy Malabo to complete this collaborative effort to support Equatorial Guinean’s, U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Defense objectives to combat human trafficking and provide aid to help vulnerable populations,” said U.S. Army Maj. Brittany Fraser, SOCAFRICA Civil Affairs Branch Chief.

The nation’s relative remoteness, comprised of a mainland region and volcanic islands off the Gulf of Guinea, presents procurement and logistical challenges. U.S forces are currently postured to support these complex delivery logistics. This humanitarian donation will benefit the most vulnerable of the population in the host nation. One of the recipients of this donation is the first shelter dedicated to victims of human trafficking. The aid items delivered included baby formula, diapers, rehydration salts, pediatric medicines, and first aid kits for distribution to the local populace.

“We hope that this donation is the beginning of additional cooperation and illustrates the broad range of programs available through U.S. forces to help strengthen not only security but improve the livelihoods of the people of Equatorial Guinea,” said Defense Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Equatorial Guinea Cdr. Michael White.

SOCAFRICA, II MEF HWW Detachment, and the USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB-4) procured the original donation at Naval Station Rota, Spain, August 16, 2023, through a coordinated effort. U.S. forces remain postured to support our African partners and continue maintaining the rapport with Equatorial Guinea for future cooperation.

“We hope that this is the first of many opportunities to partner with not only the Ministry of Social Affairs, but the government of Equatorial Guinea,” said U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea David R. Gilmour. “The U.S. Embassy strives to increase cooperation to make progress on our shared goals of strengthening regional security, promoting economic prosperity and human development, and encouraging good governance and respect for human rights.”

II MEF HWW Detachment conducted this humanitarian assistance through a scheduled deployment in the NAVEUR-NAVAF area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., European allied and African partner interests.

SOCAFRICA remains actively engaged in supporting our partners throughout Africa to attain greater security and stability for their population.