Montserrat ready to offer disaster management support to Haiti

BRADES – Montserrat is poised to support the regional response effort being coordinated by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) says Regional Affairs Director, Claude Hogan.

In an official communiqué from the Regional Affairs Unit in the Office of the Chief Minister, Hogan said “the region’s disaster management system was fully engaged in the mobilization of emergency assistance to Haiti. As soon as we receive further assessment reports we will look at whether the Government of Montserrat can respond to assist the coordinated effort from Jamaica any further. We do have on Montserrat some highly competent, well trained and well experienced search and rescue specialists, but we want to be sure that they need additional hands in Haiti before we act.”

Haiti became a member of CDEMA in September 2009.

CDEMA is focusing its response in four main areas: Emergency Aid, Shelter, Search and Rescue; and Communication. Three CARICOM Search and Rescue teams were on standby since Wednesday and are expected to be on the ground in Haiti now.

“Within the CDEMA operational structure, Haiti falls in a sub-regional grouping for which Jamaica serves as the focal point. As such, the Agency is liaising with the National Disaster Council (NDC) and other agencies in Jamaica.  CDEMA is also liaising with the Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), the Regional Security System (RSS), the Pan American Health Organisation/Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (PAHO/CAREC) and the United States Office for Disaster Assistance (USOFDA) as part of its mobilization efforts,” the statement says.

“As soon as we have CDEMA’s assessment of loss and needs in Haiti we will be sure to past that information to the public, but in the meantime just give some monetary support to help the situation,” advised the Regional Affairs Director.

“ Citizens of Haiti on Montserrat are encouraged to stay in Montserrat and our immigration facilities will respond to their needs accordingly, Hogan said. “For those wishing to trace relatives, the forms can be retained from the Disaster Management and Co-ordination Agency (DMCA) at St John’s or from the Office of the Chief Minister where we have already been dealing with a number of cases where contact has been lost with relatives in Haiti.  We grieve with the people of Haiti and hope they find comfort in our prayers to God, while we wait for the situation to be brought under control.”

ENDS

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