THE OECS Commission has expressed its solidarity with nations affected by Hurricane Matthew, the strongest storm to impact the Caribbean in almost a decade.
Speaking from Saint Lucia, the Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Dr. Didacus Jules expressed his profound sorrow for nations affected by the hurricane, including Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and displacement of thousands especially in Haiti, a nation which can least afford an effective and independent response to the disaster without international assistance.
“The Commission applauds the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) which has deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team to the central Caribbean.
“We understand USAID will work closely with authorities of the affected countries and humanitarian organizations to bring vital assistance and logistical support to those in need in the storm’s aftermath.
“On behalf of the OECS we call upon the international aid community to bolster efforts by rendering all technical, financial and human resources as may be required to alleviate the plight of our northern Caribbean family, as we keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
“With the specter of climate change upon us, we are reminded once again of the increasing intensity of tropical systems as witnessed by the passage of Hurricane Matthew and the need to fortify our collective responses to the vulnerability faced by our Island States” said Dr. Jules.
Dr. Jules noted that the Commission was strengthening its commitment to developing solutions with its regional and global partners that will improve climate change awareness, emergency preparedness, and disaster recovery.