Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie
The government has outlined its response to Eastern Caribbean countries which were affected by Hurricane Irma.
Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie disclosed in the House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon that the administration responded to a request from the head of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) for assistance.
Mr. McKenzie announced that The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is deploying a specialist team for rapid need assessment of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas. The team includes members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), ODPEM, the National Works Agency (NWA) and other technical support partners.
The team's mandate is to provide logistics support as well as to secure and transport relief items such as roofing supplies, water kits and food to the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas.
In the meantime, Jamaica's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is trying to determine the needs of Jamaicans in the countries which suffered extensive damage during the passage of Hurricane Irma.
CDEMA has established a centre in Antigua to gather information on persons in the affected countries.
"Jamaica, through the High Commissioner out of Canada, has deployed an officer to Antigua to sit and to meet with Jamaicans to find out their needs...and to make the necessary arrangements to facilitate Jamaicans. The team has also been given the task of visiting at least three shelters that have been established to have ongoing discusions," Mr. McKenzie disclosed.
He said the Government is looking at sending a delegation to areas where Jamaicans are located.