JIS News

Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Ronald Jackson, has said that raising the necessary funds is a crucial aspect in providing support to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
“We would like to play a role where we can, in seeing that Jamaica makes some kind of contribution to the recovery facility …(and) cash (is) a critical element in supporting the Haitian response and recovery process,” Mr. Jackson said in an interview with JIS News yesterday (January 19).
He noted, however, that there had been a “diffused approach” in the country’s provision of funds, as various banks have opened their own accounts and different organisations are doing other things in support of the relief effort. This is in addition to the establishment of the Government’s response fund.
“We probably need to look at sitting down together to see how we plan to utilise all the various funds that are collected. We are going to talk with everybody to see what their intentions are and to see whether or not we could combine the efforts into one solid intervention,” he said.
On Tuesday, January 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake ravaged Haiti. Jamaica has joined other countries worldwide, in the relief and recovery efforts and has been designated as the base for CARICOM’s input.
Mr. Jackson said that the cash would also be essential if CARICOM’s bid to provide health care and medical personnel to Haiti is to be sustained.
“We’ve been looking at the possibility that we are going to have a sustained medical presence, and so in that regard, we are going to need to have the medical responders resourced with the necessary supplies to be effective in the roll-out of their response,” he said.
He informed that, already, medical personnel have done 42 to 48 surgeries in Haiti and have attended to the persons in need of painkillers, bandages, etcetera. “So all of those areas will need to be continued, going forward,” he said.
In addition to the provision of health care and medical personnel, CARICOM is also looking at the possibility of reconstructing a medical facility in a particular locale to be identified by the Haitian authorities, Mr. Jackson added.

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