JIS News

The Jamaica Red Cross will be providing some 5000 persons with food supplies over the next six weeks, as the organization targets those most in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean.
Jamaica Red Cross President, Dr. Jaslin Salmon, addressing a press conference held on (Aug. 24) at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management’s (ODPEM) Camp Road headquarters, said that the organization will also provide roofing and building materials, bedding, hygiene and kitchen kits, clothing, and tarpaulins to 5000 families.
“We believe that in the next few weeks, the affected families will require tremendous amounts of support for roof rehabilitation due to extensive damage to people’s homes,” he pointed out.
He said the Jamaica Red Cross also recognized the need for grains, seeds and fishing equipment that “would allow people to re-establish their livelihoods,” and will also set up school feeding programmes for basic school children in the affected areas.
In addition to the material support, Dr. Salmon informed that the organization has been providing and will continue to offer psychological support to affected families, as well as relief staff.
“We recognize over the last few days that the stress levels of the people have been very high, so our psychology support team is activated and is very, very involved throughout the communities,” he noted. He informed that the team has been in St. Elizabeth and will visit Clarendon to provide support in the affected areas.
Since the passage of the hurricane on August 19, the Jamaica Red Cross has been heavily involved in shelter management, relief distribution, rapid assessment and the coordination of relief supplies through its international federation, as well as helping families that have become dislocated, to re-establish contact.
Dr. Salmon said that the Jamaica Red Cross will facilitate the early transition of dislocated residents from temporary shelters to their homes, and help them to regain some measure of normalcy as soon as possible.
Some 140 Jamaica Red Cross volunteers are assisting in the relief effort, and are involved in preparing and packaging food, and the distribution of supplies.

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