CARICOM Foreign Ministers meet in New York

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CARICOM Foreign Ministers and the Secretary-General at the last meeting of the COFCOR in May 2017

CARICOM’s response to the increasing number of HIV/AIDS infections regionally is among  matters prioritised for discussions among Foreign Ministers on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.

The 10th Special Meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council for Foreign and Community Relations began today, 22 September 2017, in New York, USA.

Foreign Ministers are also discussing the scaling down of MINUSTAH (the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti), as well as the UN response to the cholera epidemic there. The Sustainable Development goals, especially the regional priorities for climate change, are also on the agenda. (more…)

 Hurricane Maria kills three in Haiti

 

An animation provided by the National Hurricane Center shows Category-3 Hurricane Maria churning about 45 miles east southeast of Grand Turk Island, and 100 miles north of the Dominican Republic, at 1:45 a.m. Eastern, Sept. 22, 2017. (NHC/NOAA)
An animation provided by the National Hurricane Center shows Category-3 Hurricane Maria churning about 45 miles east southeast of Grand Turk Island, and 100 miles north of the Dominican Republic, at 1:45 a.m. Eastern, Sept. 22, 2017. (NHC/NOAA)

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Sep. 22, CMC – Three people were killed on Thursday as heavy rains stemming from the close passage of the powerful Hurricane Maria, lashed sections of Haiti.

The police report that early Thursday, a 45-year-old man drowned as he attempted to cross the Grand Ravine River and two people in the district of Cornillon were killed by lightning.

The authorities reported that just over 33 shelters were opened in the Artibonite department in the western end of the country as flooding was reported in some areas.

As a precaution, the authorities announced that schools located in departments of North, North-East and North-West would be closed on Friday.

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CDEMA steps up Hurricane Relief Effort

caricom flagRelief efforts for the countries affected by Hurricane Irma in the eastern Caribbean have been stepped up following the passage of Hurricane Jose out of the area.

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency’s (CDEMA) advance team,  is operating out of its staging post in Antigua, which was largely unaffected by the hurricanes.

The advance team, consisting of the CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU), Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT), CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST), and the CARICOM Disaster Assessment Coordination team, have been deployed to the British Virgin Islands cdema-tradewinds2and Anguilla, having been into Barbuda late last week. Barbuda, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands suffered serious damage by Hurricane Irma. CDEMA’s Rapid Assessment team, from its staging post in Jamaica, is scheduled to arrive in the Turks and Caicos Islands later today, Sunday 10 September. The Agency has also been in contact with Haiti which has also suffered damage during the passage of Hurricane Irma.

Latest information from the Governor of the British Virgin Islands indicates that five people have been confirmed dead.  Barbuda, Anguilla and Haiti each suffered one fatality. Eleven deaths have also been reported in the French territories of St Barthelemy and St Martin as well as the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten.

CARICOM Heads of Government meet on Hurricane situation

Heads1Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) met in special emergency session today, Saturday 10 September to receive an update on the effects of the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Jose on the Region and progress on the co-ordinated response to provide relief for those affected.

The meeting, presided over by CARICOM Chairman, Dr the Rt Honourable 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.

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CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and Chef-de-Cabinet Charmaine Atkinson-Jordan at the meeting

Premier of the British Virgin Islands, (BVI) the Honourable Dr Orlando Smith, the Prime Minister of The Bahamas the Honourable Dr Hubert Minnis, the Foreign Minister of Haiti, the Honourable Antonio Rodrigues and a representative of the Turks and Caicos Government provided the latest information on their countries. Prime Minister of Dominica, the Honourable 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, the Honourable Allen Chastenet alerted the meeting to the situation in St Kitts and Nevis. (more…)

CARICOM Secretary-General – saddened by deaths from Hurricane Irma

Cxii_cc_logoSecretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has expressed his sadness at the deaths caused by Hurricane Irma in its path through the region.

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CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

“I am saddened to hear of the loss of life the Secretary-General said.  “I extend my sympathies to the families of the deceased and to the Governments and People of the countries,” he added.

Secretary-General LaRocque noted that reports were still coming in with respect to damage in the countries which have experienced the wrath of the huge storm, while preparations were being made for its arrival in those countries which have been identified as being likely to be affected by the hurricane.

Hurricane Irma has so far struck the CARICOM Member State of Antigua and Barbuda, and the Associate Members Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands, with its outer bands affecting St. Kitts and Nevis and Dominica.  The Turks and Caicos Islands, The Bahamas and Haiti are in the predicted path of the Hurricane. (more…)