CARICOM steps up to help Haiti
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has delivered a shipment of approximately US$53 000 worth of emergency relief supplies to hurricane-ravaged Haiti.
The items were transported by the United States government, through the collaborative efforts of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Coordinating Unit and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) in Jamaica.
Partnerships have also been leveraged in Haiti to support transportation on the ground by the Haitian Civil Protection Department.
The three containers of supplies will be delivered to Les Cayes, one of the two areas worst impacted by Hurricane Matthew.
“The emergency supplies were sourced in Jamaica, the sub-regional focal point for Haiti, and includes items such as tarpaulin, water, protein, starch, hygiene products and supplies for babies. These are scheduled to arrive in Les Cayes on Thursday,” said Deputy Executive Director of CDEMA Elizabeth Riley.
Between October 3 and 4, Hurricane Matthew unleashed Category 4 strength winds and extensive rainfall over the southern peninsula of Haiti, resulting in over 500 deaths and widespread damage to houses and infrastructure.
In addition to the CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST), which has been providing operational support to the Emergency Operation Centres in Les Cayes and Jeremie since October 7, CDEMA, supported by the Regional Security System and the Jamaica government, is also deploying a CARICOM contingent comprising the CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit and members of the Jamaica Defence Force.
The contingent will coordinate humanitarian relief operations and distribution of relief supplies to the affected population in Les Cayes.
Following the passage of Hurricane Matthew, some regional and international agencies have pledged support to the relief and recovery efforts in Haiti. CARICOM has also pledged support for the rehabilitation of a school in Les Cayes, as well as a feeding programme catering to the children of that school for a maximum of two weeks.