JIS News

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has stated that Jamaica’s contribution to countries affected by the tsunami disaster in South Asia could take the form of monetary assistance given the magnitude of the disaster and the cost of sending personnel and relief supplies over long distances. Mr. Patterson made the comment during a radio interview on Wednesday (Dec. 29).
The Prime Minister said Jamaica wants to give assistance that is practical and tangible and as such, the sheer magnitude of the disaster must be taken into consideration. He said the Government will be working through international agencies such as the UN Disaster Relief Committee and the International Red Cross to identify what was the most practical way in which Jamaica could assist at this time. He said the reconstruction process was expected to extend over a long period of time and would have to involve the entire international community.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Land and Environment and Information will take the lead in examining the package of assistance that will be required given the extent of the devastation.
Mr. Patterson said also that based on the nature of the tsunami disaster, countries susceptible to similar events will require the support of the international community and global lending agencies to implement early warning systems in order that they can be better equipped to alert their citizenry of an impending disaster.