JIS News

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Professor Gordon Shirley, has urged Jamaicans in the Tri State Area to support the country’s rebuilding and recovery effort in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.
He was speaking at a public forum held at the Jamaican Consulate in New York to update nationals in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut about the reconstruction effort and how they could assist the process. The function was hosted by Consul General, Basil K. Bryan.
Ambassador Shirley has been mobilizing support for the country and has conducted a range of interviews in the media aimed at sensitizing the public about the challenges the country faces in the aftermath of the hurricane and drumming up support for the rebuilding process.
He commended the speed and enthusiasm with which Jamaicans across the United States were responding to the call for support and assistance in the wake of Hurricane Ivan, noting that the response underscored the long-standing spirit of philanthropy, altruism, and commitment to country, for which Jamaicans were widely known.
He urged those in attendance to respond to the plight of those affected, particularly in the parishes of Westmoreland, St. Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon, where the hurricane damage was most severe.
The Ambassador also assured the gathering, that while certain financial goals would have to be reassessed in light of damage to key sectors such as agriculture, the economic targets had not been derailed.
Professor Shirley urged the New York community to continue to actively support the work of the Consulate General in New York, with respect to specific needs on the ground, as well as channeling resources to the most affected areas. “I know New York is mobilized and that New York is ready to help in every way,” he stated.
“The community is clearly very energized and I am confident that you will be working hand in hand with the entire staff of the Consulate General, as well as Dr. Bryan, to ensure that relief is made available to those in Jamaica who are desperately in need,” he added. Meanwhile, subsequent to the meeting, Ambassador Shirley and Grenadian Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Denis Antoine, participated in a news interview in Washington, where they spoke about the impact of Hurricane Ivan on their respective countries.
The two ambassadors informed that CARICOM intended to work with the international donor community, to put a regional fund or some such mechanism in place, which will have the capacity to provide emergency assistance in the wake of natural disasters.
They appealed to the Washington community to look at the economic dislocation in the Caribbean caused by Ivan, not just on a country-to-country basis but on a regional level, noting that it was only through a unified approach that the region could succeed in mitigating the impact of disasters and ensure that affected economies regained their economic footing.

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