Diplomatic Community Updated on Ivan


Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has updated the diplomatic community and representatives of external agencies about the effects of hurricane Ivan on the island and the strategies that are in place to facilitate the recovery and reconstruction process.
At a meeting with the Diplomatic community at Jamaica House on Wednesday (Sept. 14), Mr. Patterson noted that despite the eye of the hurricane not passing directly over Jamaica, the damage was extensive in many parts of the country.
Mr. Patterson said the immediate need for Jamaica was in relation to bedding for adults, children and infants, food supplies, temporary roofing and building material. He noted that there was a well established mechanism in place for the coordination of the relief effort which involve the Ministry of Labour and Social Security; Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Sports; the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and various non-governmental organizations.
He said every attempt was being made to ensure that the distribution of relief was done in a transparent manner that promotes unity among all Jamaicans.
The Prime Minister thanked members of the international community that have already conveyed messages of solidarity, as well as those who have already provided relief supplies or have indicated a readiness to do so as soon as the needs are identified. In addition to those countries and agencies that have already indicated the extent of their contribution, relief supplies are expected from Mexico and Spain.
Mr. Patterson also told the diplomatic community that the imposition of a period of public emergency was necessary and would be used solely in response to the hurricane. He said the period of public order would remain in place for thirty days from September 10 and that depending on the situation, the Governor General would be advised to revoke the order. The Prime Minister noted that should it become necessary to extend the period of public emergency approval would have to be sought through an affirmative resolution of Parliament.
Members of the diplomatic community were shown video footage of some of the worst affected areas and were invited by the Prime Minister to arrange their own visits at a time convenient to them.

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