Special CARICOM Meeting Tomorrow to Discuss Hurricane Damage


A special meeting of heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will be convened in Port of Spain, Trinidad tomorrow (Sept. 15) to discuss the region’s response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Ivan.
Prime Minister P. J. Patterson, who made the announcement at yesterday’s (Sept.13) post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, said that Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. Omar Davies, would represent Jamaica at the meeting, “which will look at the situation as it affected the economic and social well being of member states and their citizens, and to decide what immediate action was to be taken”.
Mr. Patterson said the assessment was critical particularly in the case of Grenada, which had suffered very extensive devastation, especially to its main infrastructure and economic base.
He noted that St. Vincent and the Grenadines had also lost much of its coastal strips and added to the damage in Jamaica and in the Bahamas, “one would readily accept that CARICOM at the highest level, needs to look at this matter in a community spirit”. Mr. Patterson explained that he had designated Dr. Davies to represent the government of Jamaica at this meeting as he (the Prime Minister) could not leave the island at this time since he would be visiting some of the worst affected areas of the island beginning today.
In addition, he pointed out, because Dr. Davies would be the region’s representative at an upcoming meeting of the World Bank and the International Montetary Fund (IMF), “it is therefore fitting for him to be briefed by other regional heads to inform the contents of his presentation to the international financial institutions.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning, paid a visit to Jamaica yesterday to assess the hurricane damage and to see what level of assistance Trinidad could offer. The Prime Minister brought relief supplies and will be sending other supplies during the coming weeks. Other announcements will be made in terms of monetary contribution.
After a short meeting with Mr. Patterson at Jamaica House, the Prime Ministers toured Caribbean Terrace in Harbour View, which was severely affected by the hurricane.

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