CARICOM Heads of Government meet on Hurricane situation

Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) met in special emergency session today, Saturday, September 9, to receive an update on the effects of the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Jose on the Region and progress on the coordinated response to provide relief for those affected.

The meeting, presided over by CARICOM Chairman, Dr Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, received a full briefing on the situation from representatives of the affected countries, the Caribbean Disaster Management Agency (CDEMA), the Community’s lead agency for disaster response, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and regional institutions.

Premier of the British Virgin Islands, (BVI) Dr Orlando Smith, the Prime Minister of The Bahamas Dr Hubert Minnis, the Foreign Minister of Haiti, Antonio Rodrigues and a representative of the Turks and Caicos Government provided the latest information on their countries. Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerritt provided information on the situation on the island of St Maarten where a significant number of CARICOM nationals are currently located and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Allen Chastenet alerted the meeting to the situation in St Kitts and Nevis.

The Executive Director of CDEMA Ronald Jackson addressed the situation in Antigua and Barbuda and Anguilla as well as giving an update on the Community’s coordinated response to all the countries affected. Immediate needs were identified for those worst affected, particularly, Barbuda, BVI and Anguilla. These included water, food items, materials to aid in providing temporary shelter such as plywood and tarpaulins and especially cash to purchase items to help with the cost of immediate recovery efforts in the affected countries. An evacuation of Barbuda was well advanced due to the potential impact of Hurricane Jose.

Earlier this week, CDEMA activated the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) which coordinates relief action and includes regional institutions, international agencies, and representatives from the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. CDEMA’s advance team has been waiting in Antigua to go in to the affected countries in that area as soon as conditions permit, given the proximity of Hurricane Jose and the severe damage to ports of entry.

The Hurricane caused massive damage to property and infrastructure including sea and air ports which has hindered access to the islands, therefore affecting the arrival of assessment teams and the relief efforts. Limited access has been established to Anguilla and BVI with the aid of the United Kingdom. A team is also in Jamaica awaiting to proceed to the Turks and Caicos Islands, The Bahamas and Haiti.

They expressed their sympathy to the bereaved of those killed by Hurricane Irma. So far four deaths have been confirmed in the BVI, one in Barbuda, one in Anguilla and one in Haiti due to Hurricane Irma which also caused fatalities on the islands of Saint Maarten and St Barthelemy.

Heads of Government expressed concern about the long term psychological effects of the situation given the serious dislocation and sense of loss of the populations of the affected countries. They also stressed that these disasters emphasised the economic vulnerability of the region given the cost of recovery and the impact on economic activity of the affected countries.

They mandated the CARICOM Secretariat and the Secretariat of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to continue working with CDEMA to co-ordinate recovery efforts.

11 Responses to CARICOM Heads of Government meet on Hurricane situation

  1. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen September 9, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Somebody read that again and tell ma if the Prime minister of Barbados was mentioned in them caricom heads ,and tell ma he offered any words of comfort to Barbuda.or he waiting to give trump when Miami get hit?

  2. jennifer September 9, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Come on guys. Let the strong support the weak and rebuild.

  3. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce September 10, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Leave Freundel at home the only contribution coming from him is SILENCE.

    • Cecily Jones
      Cecily Jones September 10, 2017 at 8:08 am

      They say silence is golden…Stuart thinking he going to get rich rich rich!

  4. MArk Anthony
    MArk Anthony September 10, 2017 at 6:33 am

    There’s no such thing as caricom

  5. Tony Webster September 10, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Looks like a conference-call via Skype- which they cud use in place of expensive HOGS meetings…but note that they have passed the baby over to CARICOM secretariat- which just does not have the ability to fund, or to effectuate, any real assistance …without solid, specific pledges from individual governments…of which nothing is mentioned.

    Usual smoke ‘n’mirrors and useless posturing. Would have been much the better for our suffering brothers , to have just reported that C.D.B. had set aside US $100M, and that World Bank had matched this.

    Lord, deliver us from this nonsense, and raise up real leaders. Yes, starting today please Lord.

  6. harry turnover September 10, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Stuart is a non entity just waiting to say yea yea or nay nay when other people talk

  7. Milli Watt September 10, 2017 at 9:58 am

    this crowd could do some so and so talking…………brek as a$$ but still got the time to look busy stupse

  8. Belfast September 10, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    After the abandonment of tourists in Sin Martin, except US Citizens, of course, many may now be cautious of taking a holiday, other than a cruise, in the Caribbean during the hurricane season.

  9. Belfast September 10, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    One wonders if the many homes destroyed in Barbuda by Irma were of the infamous T-1 11 plywood type built by the ruling gentry of A&B some years ago.

  10. jrsmith September 11, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    To our educated leaders and this idea of Caricom what ever its suppose to be, our region would see big news ……. From the Caricom Central funding….. 300 millions dollars towards the rebuilding of the region………………….Well anything is a miracle to our people ………………………………..


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