News Date: October 18 2016
The Honourable Prime Minister and Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, on Friday, outlined a plan of action to be taken by member states in aid of Haiti and the Bahamas.
The Honourable Prime Minister held a press conference on Friday, October 14th, to report on his visit to the two islands following Hurricane Matthew.
At the press conference the CARICOM Chairman revealed that in Haiti two towns in the west were severely affected; Les Cayes and Jeremie.
He also spoke of deaths associated with an outbreak of cholera in Haiti.
“The international and regional health agencies are working on this very diligently to seek to contain the spread of cholera. This is because you would have a double whammy, the hurricane on one side and the suffering it has brought, the several thousands who have been rendered homeless in Haiti,” he said.
The Dominica leader announced CARICOM’s plans in response to this situation.
“From the CARICOM stand point the thinking is that we will focus on education and possibility of repairing a school and to underwrite the expenses of a school feeding programme. We really need to get the children back into school as soon as possible. In addition to that, we have personnel on the ground assisting with the coordination of relief efforts and assisting the Government of Haiti in coordinating its response to the hurricane,” he explained.
He declared that CARICOM member countries will be providing assistance based on the priorities articulated by the government of Haiti.
Honourable Dr. Skerrit already announced that Dominica has committed US $100k to Haiti to assist with its response efforts and to help develop a system that will allow safeguard against future disasters.
Additionally the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute, (CARDI), has been engaged to mobilize seeds and seedlings to Haiti.
The President and Prime Minister of Haiti have indicated that agricultural crops are a major priority since the affected communities were agriculture based.
“We need to ensure that Haiti can get back into agriculture production and to have short term crops which can be ready for cultivation within weeks and in some cases months. This is because you have ensure that Haiti can produce to feed itself,” Prime Minister Skerrit said.
The nation’s leader stated that he has received a positive response to his appeal to the Dominican public to send supplies to Haiti.
“We are now stuffing a 40ft container of items that will be shipped early next week to Les Cayes in Haiti. Les Cayes is one the communities I indicated to you was severely impacted.”
He extended an appeal to churches and church leaders to collect funds and contact the Office of Disaster Management to make donations to Haiti.
Meanwhile in the islands of Grand Bahama and Andros which were severely affected in the Bahamas, the Honourable Prime Minister counts it a miracle that there were no fatalities.
He announced that Dominica has also donated US $100k to the Bahamas as the islands’ Government has a huge task on their hands.
The Hon Prime Minister says he is impressed with the leadership of the Bahamian Prime Minister in response to the significant infrastructural damage caused by the hurricane.
The Prime Minister is calling on all Dominicans to assist these Caribbean countries which have been affected by donating funds and supplies.
News Source: GIS Dominica