BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THE Government has made good on its promise to assist those islands affected by the passage of the two powerful hurricanes – Irma and Maria.
Dominica, St. Maarten/ Martin, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, and Antigua & Barbuda were the islands the government had pledged to assist with monetary contributions.
The Dr. Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Administration had promised to donate a combined sum of EC$2.5M to those islands.
According to Dr. Harris, his government has made a deposit at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) that would be disbursed to the governments of the various countries.
“I am happy to report that on that score, the Accountant General has deposited the funds earmarked for Anguilla, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda and the BVI with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, where each of these governments holds an account.”
He noted that arrangements are being made to finalize payments with regards to the French and Dutch St. Maarten.
Dr. Harris pointed out that St. Kitts and Nevis has been very generous in its contribution to the affected islands.
“I am heartened that we have been managing well. Moreover, of all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis has been excellent in its generosity to our neighbours. We have offered monetary and in-kind contributions to Dominica, the BVI, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, and St. Maarten. And we thank God we can do so.”
The Prime Minister noted that “we would always be reminded that had it not been for the grace of God, it could have been us”.
Reminding that though St. Kitts and Nevis sustained damage, and had significant gun-related deaths over the years, the Federation was able to send a contingent of officers to Dominica.
It was just recently that the government issued a statement disclosing that six officers were sent to Dominica to assist in its recovery efforts and law and order.
Dr. Harris said that while the Team Unity Administration has been helpful to neighbours in the region, “our citizens and residents must be commended for their thoughtfulness and generosity”.
Based on advice from the Comptroller of Customs, PM Harris indicated that as at September 27, over 44 shipments of relief support had left St. Kitts and Nevis for islands affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.