JIS News

Jamaica has offered to provide technical support to Grenada in the area of emergency management as its contribution to the recovery and reconstruction of that island following the passage of hurricane Ivan. Prime Minister P.J. Patterson made the offer to Grenadian Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell on Wednesday (Sept. 22) during a one-day official visit to the island.
The specific areas of assistance include strengthening of the emergency management mechanism already in place in Grenada, through the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management. The ODPEM is expected to provide Grenada with assistance in the tracking and distribution of relief, personnel to help Grenadians cope with the psychological impact of the disaster as well as help with the implementation of a public information and education programme.
Mr. Patterson said Jamaica was providing assistance in the areas where it had developed some degree of expertise since the country’s capacity to contribute was limited given Jamaica’s own response to the effects of Ivan.
“I have brought with me the CEO of the ODPEM. Over the years we have developed some accumulated experience which we believe that even despite the demands on those skills in Jamaica at this time we could assist by making one or two persons available,” Mr. Patterson said.
The Prime Minister said that in assisting Grenada, Jamaica would to the extent that it can, subscribe to the decisions taken by CARICOM Heads at their meeting in Trinidad last week. He said Jamaica would also be able to help Grenada in the preparation of project proposals for lending and donor agencies.
Other officials who accompanied the Prime Minister to Grenada including the Chief of Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin and Chairman of the National Solid Waste Management Authority Alston Stewart, held meetings with their respective counterparts in Grenada to determine what further technical support could be provided as it relates to security, housing and the clearing of debris following the hurricane.
In the meantime, Grenadian Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has welcomed the offer of assistance from Jamaica, adding that it was more than Grenada could expect from Jamaica given its own response to Ivan.
“Prime Minister Patterson coming here today is an example of the Caribbean spirit. His offer of technical support to help Grenada in its resurgence of economic activity to me is more than what Grenada expected from Jamaica given its problems also,” Prime Minister Mitchell said.

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