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JIS News

At least 10,000 children and adults affected by the security operation in West Kingston have been receiving food supplies along with medical assistance since Wednesday (May 26).
Assistance is being provided to residents in Tivoli Gardens, Denham Town and Hannah Town by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Jamaica Red Cross and St. John’s Ambulance.
Deputy Director General of ODPEM, Richard Thompson, told JIS News that family packs consisting of rice, flour, cornmeal, corn beef and other “quick and ready” packets are being distributed to the residents.
“We have done some drops of family packs in the area some three days now,” he said, adding that the distribution of food stuff will continue until conditions have returned to normality.
Mr. Thompson said that the distribution process has been slow at times because of the need by entities to properly package the supplies and coordinate delivery. He noted that the OPPEM and the other entities do not store food at their headquarters.
“When you acquire them in bulk you have to package them, break them down into family packs and that will take time.so there will be a lull and then we have to coordinate movement in the areas,” he explained.
With regard to the medical needs of residents, Mr. Thompson informed that persons have been taken to the University Hospital of the West Indies for treatment. He said that calls for medical assistance are passed on to military personnel in the area, who transport persons to the hospital.
The Deputy Director General said the ODPEM and other entities will also be providing psychosocial support for the residents and are working out an arrangement with the security team to go into the communities.