JIS News

Minister with responsibility for Information, Daryl Vaz says Jamaica is to start wrapping up relief efforts in Haiti and the contingent is to be out of the country by March 19. This will allow a transitional period of two weeks for the group to leave and other CARICOM countries to continue the relief support.
He said the decision for the extension of two weeks was made by Cabinet yesterday (March 2) so there would be no dislocation in the relief efforts.
Minister Vaz was updating journalists at the weekly Post Cabinet Press Briefing at Jamaica House today. He said J$40M has been received to offset costs incurred up to February 5, 2010 and the requisite accountability procedures being carried out.
“Daily costs being incurred post February 5 are expected to be under the initial figure of J$773, 000 per day due to the decrease in the number of personnel being supported at this time. Support for additional expenses post February 5 has been committed by CARICOM through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency but the actual amount is yet to be determined,” he said.
Minister Vaz added that over 350 Jamaican personnel inclusive of medical, military, search and rescue, operational and relief volunteers have been rotated in and out of Haiti to facilitate the CARICOM response for which Jamaica has been the hub of efforts.
He also said the donation fund set up by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management is currently over J$10 million and will be used to support Jamaica’s contribution to the medical response and recovery operations.
“A total of 159 health care workers were sent to Haiti; 141 from Jamaica, ten from Barbados, six from the Bahamas, one from St. Lucia and one from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and they have seen over ten thousand patients. The final health team rotation is to return to Jamaica on March 4 and 5”, the Minister explained.
He said the CARICOM recovery phase will begin on March 6 and the Jamaica Defence Force group will remain in place up to March 19 to facilitate the change over process.

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