Dominica has pledged a total of $2,930,000 to countries affected by Hurricane Irma.
Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit said at a press conference on Monday the money is pledged as follows: St. Kitts and Nevis, EC$500,000; St. Thomas, EC$540,000 (US$200,000); Cuba, EC$675,000 (US$250,000) and Antigua and Barbuda EC$675,000 (US$250,000).
He said the decision was made by cabinet to the various countries affected to assist with relief efforts.
In regards to St Maarten/St Martin, British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Anguilla he noted that the urgent need now is water and supplies,
“We are focusing on these three islands in respect to relief supplies,” he said.
Skerrit went on to say that as Chairman of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), he suggested to the council of ministers that a financial contribution be made to the countries within the currency union to assist them in responding to the disaster.
He said the council has accepted that suggestion and approved EC$1 million to Antigua and Barbuda, EC$1 million to Anguilla and $250,000 to St Kitts and Nevis.
He stated further that the Board of Directors of the Bank suggested that Dominica should have received a contribution for the damage at the Douglas-Charles Airport, “but I respectfully declined the offer of assistance to Dominica, because what has happened in the other territories is extremely pale, the devastation in our member territories.”
In addition to montery and relief contribution, the Prime Minister said his government will be deploying police officers to the BVI and Barbuda
“In the BVI there are several prisoners who have escaped from the prisons, several of them, so that poses a security threat to the island and also in Barbuda of course, to avoid people coming in and taking advantage of the situation we need to ensure that there is proper security,” he remarked.
The money to Barbuda was pledged by the Prime Minister during a visit to Antigua on Sunday.
He arrived there last night with other OECS counterparts in a show of solidarity with Barbudans who were displaced by Hurricane Irma.
“In Dominica with the limited resources that we have, we are committing US$250,000.00 or (EC$675,000) to the government to assist with its response to the immediate situation,” he said.
Skerrit and the team were part of a tour of an evacuee shelter in Antigua.
He told reporters after a closed-door meeting with Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne that Dominica will assist in any way possible.
He also urged all residents to cooperate with each other.
“There is no need for this time for any discord. The country must be united in its efforts to bring about a permanent solution to the current suffering of the people of Barbuda,” he said.
Meantime St Lucia’s Prime Minister Allan Chastanet said the countries of the OECS have an obligation to support each other, and the Windward Islands will do what they can for the Leeward Islands.
Chastanet also said the OECS initiative is to support the work of CDEMA – the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and other entities.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne stated that the help is appreciated.
Barbuda was devastated by Irma and the island was declared uninhabitable.