JIS News

Prime Minister P. J. Patterson has proposed the establishment of a special unit to co-ordinate the national reconstruction effort, following the passage of Hurricane Ivan. He said its terms of reference would be presented to Cabinet.
The Prime Minister, who was speaking at a meeting of the National Disaster Committee at Jamaica House on Sunday (September 12), made it clear that the unit would not replace any Ministry or state agency or assume the duties for which they were responsible, but would be strictly charged with co-ordinating the recovery effort.
“And this co-ordination will go beyond the government and will include the whole Jamaica, the private sector, churches, the trade union movement and corporate entities,” he explained.
“This is a case where we have joined-up government in action and all of us have to pitch in and get it done, so that we can get on with our responsibilities,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cabinet will today (September 13) receive reports from the various sectors as to the damage the country suffered from Hurricane Ivan and proposals to hasten the recovery effort.
“We want to ensure that the reconstruction takes place as quickly, as efficiently and as smoothly as ever, so that we can return to normality and get on with the business of production,” he emphasised.
Mr. Patterson said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade had been energized to respond to offers of assistance from the international community and would be receiving the delegations, which would visit Jamaica to inspect the damage and decide how best they could assist.
There have been offers of assistance from the United Nations, the International Red Cross, Mexico, Venezuela, the United States and the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning, arrived in the island today to have discussion with Prime Minister Patterson and to visit one of the devastated areas.
A special meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is also proposed to deal with the damage in Jamaica and Grenada, which was also devastated by Hurricane Ivan.
“I entertain no doubts whatsoever that we are going to pursue the recovery of the island in a way that we can ensure a resumption of the development agenda,” Mr. Patterson stressed.

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