WASHINGTON, April 1 (Xinhua) -- The United States has an aid team preparing to go inside Libya, a senior U.S. official said Friday.
Mark Ward, deputy assistant administrator of U.S. Agency for International Development, told a Washington briefing that the agency has a disaster assistance response team (DART) in place, and will be ready to go inside the Northern African country once the situation there permits it.
Ward refused to say how big the team is, but noted it could start small and will grow once assessment of the ground calls for it. He said most of the agency's DART teams around the world are between a couple of people to a couple of dozen, and in rare cases, it can go up to over 100.
Once the team goes inside Libya, their "first priority" will be to establish contact with the opposition, especially people with knowledge on how to transport aid to cities where those things are urgently needed. He said the agency will want to get in touch with former government officials and port authority employees.
Ward said it is still unknown as when the team will be able to go inside Libya, where U.S. and other Western powers are still bombing government targets. He said the team will not be accompanied by military personnel as part of the administration's "no boots on the ground" policy.