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Gov't activates Irma relief fund for affected C'bean countries

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Local Government, Desmond Mckenzie, this afternoon announced that the Government has activated its Sub-regional Coordination Centre and will be sending a specialist team to the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas to help evaluate and assess damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

McKenzie, who was speaking in Parliament, said that the role of the specialist team is to carry out the following tasks:

- Support a rapid damage assessment team;
- Secure relief items in support of the impacting state;
- Make logistically arrangements for transportation and relief and response resources to the affected areas.

Mckenzie explained that the team includes members of the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF), National Works Agency (NWA), Office of Disaster and Preparedness Emergency Management (ODPEM) and a 16-member United Nations (UN) team among other technical support partners.

He noted that the provisions include logistically securing, supplying and transporting relief items to the Turks and Caicos Islands as well as the Bahamas. Items to be transported include roofing supplies; water kits and food items.

At the same time, Mckenzie also announced the launch of the "Jamaica Irma Relief Fund" and urged colleagues in Parliament and others to contribute.

“The fund will be operated at the National Commercial Bank (NCB) in the name of 'ODPEM Donation' the account number is 212387304,” McKenzie said, adding that he will pledge $50,000.

At least 40 people in the Caribbean have died as Irma, while a Category 5 storm, lashed the Leeward Islands before moving towards other Caribbean islands then heading to the US state of Florida where it eventually downgraded after causing massive flooding and temporarily misplacing oceans in Bahamas and Florida.

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