BASSETERRE, St Kitts– St Kitts and Nevis has allocated an EC$1 million (US$370,370) humanitarian relief package to assist Dominica in its recovery from damages suffered by the passage of Tropical Storm Erika.
This announcement was made by Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris at the completion of a special session of the St Kitts and Nevis Cabinet on Friday.
St Kitts and Nevis’ assistance to its fellow Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member state came after conversations between Harris and Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, who indicated that damage to his country was monumental, resulting in significant loss of life and infrastructural damage that has isolated several communities.
Erika left in its wake over 20 people dead and over 50 missing in Dominica with torrential rains that caused mudslides and widespread devastation.
The Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is currently in Dominica conducting a needs assessment and Harris said that other support and services for Dominica would be forthcoming based on their report.
Minister of State Senator Wendy Phipps will coordinate St Kitts and Nevis’ national effort in support of Dominica.
Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Lyme Bay has been rerouted to assist humanitarian relief efforts in the Commonwealth country of Dominica following the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erika, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced on Friday.
The British ship is carrying a range of disaster relief stores including bedding, shelter, torches and stretchers, as well as a Lynx Mk 8 helicopter and considerable supplies of fresh water.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), is providing disaster relief support to Dominica.
USAID/OFDA has deployed a four-member assessment team to provide initial damage assessments and needs analysis. This team was joined on Monday by regional advisor John Kimbrough, and disaster response and management specialist, Audrey Mullings, who will provide on-island coordination of the US government’s disaster response efforts, including helicopter reconnaissance.
USAID is in the process of providing humanitarian assistance totaling US$50,000 for the immediate supply of storm-related disaster relief supplies. Working through the Dominica Red Cross, USAID will provide essential relief items to citizens in nine hard-hit areas identified by the government of Dominica.
A 16-strong Cuban medical brigade departed on Monday morning for Dominica. The brigade, led by Doctor Norberto Ramos, includes doctors, nurses, and epidemiologists. Three civil and two electrical engineers are also travelling to the small island.
The plane also carries 1.2 tons of medicines.
The United Nations has been working closely with the government of Dominica to respond to the crisis, and with the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to support the government’s response.
Serge Letchimy, the president of the Regional Council of Martinique (a member of the OECS), has launched the operation “Caribbean Solidarity” after the damage caused by TROPICAL STORM Erika in Dominica.