JIS News

Some $1.8 million in relief supplies has been donated by the Red Cross of Jamaica in Clarendon, working closely with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and other agencies in the parish, in response to the needs of persons affected by Hurricane Ivan, which lashed the island on September 10.
Veronica Watson, Branch Director of the Red Cross in Clarendon, told JIS News that between September 12 and October 30, some 3,085 families have benefited.”We have worked closely with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and we are the distributing agency for the Salvation Army and the Adventist Disaster Relief Agency (ADRA), where we have carried out the distribution of food items, medical supplies, hygiene items and utensils to as many areas to alleviate human suffering,” she said.
Mrs. Watson pointed out that 2,817 food packages; 2,837 large blankets, 252 baby blankets, 71 packs of diapers, baby feed; 212 hygiene kits, 369 kitchen kits containing pots, plates and cutlery, 829 plastic containers with water, and about 519 tarpaulins were given to the families.
Some 213 communities in the parish have been visited by the Red Cross during the distribution process.
Mrs. Watson added that they have also distributed beds and mattresses to persons who have been assessed by the Welfare Committee, which is headed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Clarendon Parish Council’s Poor Relief Department.
The Committee comprises representatives from the Social Development Commission, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the U.S. Peace Corps and ADRA. Additionally, some 250 persons, including fishermen and persons with vegetable plots or backyard gardens are also expected to benefit from roofing material, wire to build back their nets and fish pots, as well as seeds and agricultural items.
The Red Cross also activated its Disaster Mental Health Programme, which involved a team of doctors and psychiatrists visiting the Portland Cottage community on Saturday, October 16 to carry out general check-ups and counselling.
They also visited the Rocky Point community on October 30, where persons from the Alley Downer community benefited from the programme. The team is expected to return to the Portland Cottage community on November 6 for a follow-up session.

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