Sunday 24 September, 2017

Dominica pledges EC$2.9M to Irma-stricken countries

Dominica has pledged a total of EC$2,390,000 (approximately US$900,000) to countries that have been destroyed by Hurricane Irma. 

According to Dominica News Online, Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said the decision was made by Cabinet in order to assist with various relief efforts.

Antigua and Barbuda has been pleading for aid after Barbuda was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Irma last week, leaving the island virtually uninhabitable. 

Skerrit said Dominica will donate EC$675,000 (US$250,000) each to Antigua and Barbuda and Cuba respectively, while St Thomas, which was particularly battered by Irma's passage, will receive EC$540,000 (US$200,000). St Kitts and Nevis will receive EC$500,000 (US$185,000). 

Skerrit said 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 countries within the currency union to assist.

He said the council agreed and has approved funding of EC$1 million to Antigua and Barbuda, EC$1 million to Anguilla and $250,000 to St Kitts and Nevis. 

Skerrit added that Dominica will be deploying police officers to the British Virgin Islands and Barbuda to help maintain order in those islands. 

The country has also sent four twenty-foot containers of relief supplies, containing dry goods and water, for the islands of St. Martin, Anguilla and British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Antigua and Barbuda's Prime Minister Gaston Browne has since pledged EC$100,000 of his own personal funds toward the country's reconstruction efforts. 

Dominica suffered damage after the passage of Tropical Storm Erika in 2015, which left at least 20 people dead and destroyed homes, roads and bridges. 

Trinidad and Tobago donated US$100,000 along with several other countries, toward relief efforts in Dominica after the storm.