Today's photo of the week comes to us from the U.S. Mission in New Zealand, where the Mission staff in Wellington and staff at the Consulate General in Auckland have been providing services following the magnitude 6.3 earthquake which struck on February 22, 2011, and affected the city of Christchurch and surrounding areas. The photo shows members of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) from USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), as well as members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team, one of the most skilled USAR teams in the world. OFDA is going to do their best to make a difference in Christchurch and wherever else their help is needed.
While OFDA has provided support this week in New Zealand, U.S. consular officers have also been providing assistance to Americans in Libya. President Obama said this week, "We are doing everything we can to protect American citizens. That is my highest priority. In Libya, we've urged our people to leave the country and the State Department is assisting those in need of support. Meanwhile, I think all Americans should give thanks to the heroic work that's being done by our Foreign Service Officers and the men and women serving in our embassies and consulates around the world. They represent the very best of our country and its values."
President Obama continued, "I've also asked Secretary Clinton to travel to Geneva on Monday, where a number of foreign ministers will convene for a session of the Human Rights Council. There she'll hold consultations with her counterparts on events throughout the region and continue to ensure that we join with the international community to speak with one voice to the government and the people of Libya."