‘It has been brutal’ – Prime Minister Skerrit

A visibly emotional Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica, briefed the world on Thursday about the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria which directly hit the island on Monday evening.

PM_Skerrit_tears_J3OWF5jAEm
A visibly emotional Prime Minister Skerrit

The island is now under a state of emergency and a curfew is imposed.

“It has been brutal,” he said on a live programme hosted at ABSTV studios in Antigua and Barbuda. The Prime Minister had earlier flown into Antigua and Barbuda from Dominica where he also held a Town Hall Meeting with Dominicans living there.

“It was almost complete devastation. Every village in Dominica, every street, every cranny, every person in Dominica was impacted by the hurricane. We have no running water now, no electricity. We have very limited telecommunication services by Whatsapp mainly; all of the telecommunication services are down. Private homes ave been damaged, some beyond any form of repair – all flat on their faces. Many of our schools have been destroyed. Our main hospital is with no electricity now. They’ve been running very, very difficult operations with no generators.  The generators had to be set aside because of the flooding… Nurses have been working the last 96 hours non-stop trying to provide care to the patients… Communication to many parts of the country is impossible. We will have to access villages by sea and also by helicopter,” the Prime Minister said.

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US stands in solidarity with Dominica, Caribbean

Downed trees in Dominica
One of the scenes in Dominica after Hurricane Maria made landfall on Monday 

The United States said it stands in solidarity with the people of Dominica and all those across the Caribbean region affected by the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria.

A message of solidarity from the US Department of State said that the US stands “ready to work with you and our international partners to provide immediate disaster relief. We are in the process of coordinating the best possible package of assistance”.

“The recent natural disasters underscore our interconnectedness and the importance of strong partnership with the Caribbean. The Department of State has an ongoing Task Force working to determine the extent of the damages, to coordinate evacuation efforts, and to provide assistance to U.S. citizens in the affected countries. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the Caribbean region”, the message said.

The message said that for more information on how the public can support disaster relief efforts, please go to the Center for International Disaster Information at www.cidi.org.

CARPHA ready to assist Dominica

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), has deployed members of its staff, who have joined sister CARICOM institution, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), to carry out rapid needs assessment in Dominica.

Dominica suffered widespread devastation to homes and infrastructure after Hurricane Maria, the second major storm to hit the Caribbean this month made landfall on the island on Monday.


CARPHA’s team will add its expertise to the water, sanitation and hygiene component of the evaluation. This includes assessing Dominica’s health facilities and water infrastructure.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)
The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is the new single regional public health agency for the Caribbean. It was legally established in July 2011 by an Inter-governmental Agreement signed by Caribbean Member States and began operation in January 2013. The Agency rationalises public health arrangements in the Region by combining the functions of five Caribbean Regional Health Institutions (RHIs) into a single agency. They are:  The Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI)  The Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC)  The Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI)  The Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC)  The Caribbean Regional Drug Testing Laboratory (CRDTL) CARPHA brings these RHIs together as one strong force under a public health umbrella where issues requiring a regional response can be addressed.
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CARICOM SG commends contribution of Belize to integration movement

 

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
“The Community wishes the Government and People of Belize, continued success as you renew your resolve at maintaining your progress towards the sustainable development of the country.” – CARICOM Secretary-General
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has commended the “invaluable contribution” of Belize as it marks its 36th Independence Anniversary.

The Central American CARICOM Member State celebrates its independence on Thursday, 21 September, under the theme ‘Belize: Confronting Challenges! Celebrating Triumphs! Renewing our Resolve!’

In a congratulatory message sent to Prime Minister of Belize, The Hon. Dean Barrow, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, commended his leadership in the CARICOM Quasi-cabinet for Justice and Governance. (more…)

CARICOM Chairman expresses support for hurricane-ravaged Dominica

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CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell of Grenada (r) and Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (l) leading a recent delegation to hurricane-damaged islands.

ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA,  20th  SEPT, 2017– GIS: “It is clear that we have a tremendous challenge on our hands, in the Caribbean region as a whole.”

Those were the words of Grenada’s Prime Minister and Chairman of CARICOM Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, in response to the effects of Hurricane Maria in Dominica, on Monday night, September 18th.

The Prime Minister, who appeared visibly shaken by the news coming out of Dominica, after that country was ravaged by Hurricane Maria, said that he had spoken to his colleague Prime Minister in Dominica on Monday night, during the passage of the hurricane.

Since then, there has been no communication from the Dominican leader to his colleagues. (more…)

Barbados’ future lies in CARICOM – Morris

 Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris with students (Photo via BGIS)
FLASHBACK: Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris with another group of secondary school students (Photo via BGIS)

Barbados’ ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Robert Bobby Morris, is of the view that this country’s future lies in the 15-member bloc.

Morris told this morning’s presentation ceremony of an essay contest organized by the Caribbean Organization of Tax Administrators that the regional grouping presented young Barbadians with a number of opportunities, therefore they should begin to view themselves as citizens of CARICOM and not just Barbadians.

“I hope you learn a lot about CARICOM because it is our future. It is a community and it is also a single market and both are very important to you and your future development, because you are not going to be developing really in a world of Barbados, your future is CARICOM,” Morris told students of Ellerslie Secondary School, where the ceremony was held.

The former trade unionist pointed to the number of Barbadians working in other Caribbean countries simply because they could not find work here, as evidence that the integration movement can be beneficial.

Read more at: Barbados Today