Published On: Mon, Dec 30th, 2013

CARICOM SG `profoundly saddened’ at loss of life, destruction in Member States

CaricomCARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, greater Georgetown, Guyana - Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said he was profoundly saddened by the loss of life in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia, and the destruction wrought by floods, landslides and high winds in those Member States and in Dominica.

In a message of condolence following the severe weather that affected the three CARICOM Member States, the Secretary-General extended sympathy to those who lost loved ones. He also gave the assurance that the Community stood ready to render all possible assistance in the recovery and rebuilding efforts.

“On behalf of the Community, I extend deepest sympathy to those persons who lost loved ones, were injured or displaced or suffered damage to property, and lament the damage to infrastructure as a result of the severe weather. The Community shares the concerns of the families of those who remain missing, and prays that they are found safe and sound.

“The Community’s regional emergency response mechanism has been activated. As the process of recovery and rebuilding begins, I wish to assure those persons who are affected that the Community stands ready to render all possible assistance as the Member States seek to rebuild from the destruction,” the Secretary-General said.

Ambassador LaRocque, who is in Dominica, has visited some of the affected areas there and has been in contact with Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minster of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. the Hon. Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and the Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minster of Dominica, as well as the Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, the Hon Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Secretary-General has held discussions also with Mr. Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDEMA) and government officials who are involved in the recovery operations. CDEMA, which has been assessing the priority needs of the three Member States, conducted site visits to the affected areas over the weekend. The Barbados-based Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) is also monitoring the weather pattern to provide critical and timely information to the authorities in the affected Member States.

Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar, who has responsibility for Security in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet, has dispatched emergency supplies, upon request, to Saint Lucia, and, on Friday, sent a team to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to assess the needs there.

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