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Jan-14-2010 00:30printcomments

Jamaica Will Rely on International Charities to Get Aid to Haiti

Officials believe one of the biggest challenges to Jamaica's aid efforts would be in getting air and sea transporation.

Jamaica responds to Hatian earthquake Ronald Jackson  and Honourable Daryl Vaz
Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Ronald Jackson (right), responding to questions regarding relief efforts to Haiti, which was devastated by an earthquake on Tuesday (January 12), during a post-Cabinet press briefing at the office of the Prime Minister on January 13. Looking on is Minister with responsibility for Information, Honourable Daryl Vaz.

(KINGSTON) - Jamaica will be relying heavily on the local branches of international charity organizations, such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, to help in coordinating its aid efforts to Haiti.

At a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Wednesday (January 13), Minister with responsibility for Information, Hon. Daryl Vaz, stated that with communications hampered and the lack of a coordinating body on the ground, the international organizations would be critical in helping to ensure that the aid reaches the people who need it.

President of the Jamaica Red Cross and Vice President of the International Federation of Red Cross, Dr. Jaslin Salmon, said the organization was "alert and ready" to play its part and would facilitate the transfer of goods and human resources between Jamaica and Haiti.

"At this point, we recognise that we don't fully know what the needs are. As I speak to you, we have a delegation from the Federation that is now on its way to Haiti to see what we can do, to see what the needs are, so we have proper coordination," he explained.

Chief Executive Officer of Food for the Poor, Ryan Peralto Jnr., pledged that his organization would do everything in its power to help the aid efforts directed towards Haiti.

"I was speaking to a couple clothing retailers on my way here, and they are going to try to mobilize some clothing, so we can get some commercial quantities of clothing to be able to put into the containers, and I got a call from BNS (Bank of Nova Scotia) who said they would be able to cover some of the freight back to Haiti," he informed.

Mr. Vaz pointed out that one of the biggest challenges to Jamaica's aid efforts would be in getting air and sea transportation. He appealed to both international charity organizations to help the Government in that regard.

Source: Office of the Jamaican Prime Minister

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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