(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown,
Guyana) The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is deeply
distressed and shocked by the enormous loss of life
and devastation wrought on its Member State, Haiti
and in particular the capital, Port-au-Prince, by
the powerful earthquake of Tuesday 12 January 2010.
This latest setback to the development of the
country will truly test the resilience of the
Haitian people. Their tremendous resolve and
determination however, will undoubtedly serve them
in great stead as they move forward from this tragic
event. The Caribbean Community grieves with its
brothers and sisters in Haiti and extends heartfelt
condolences to the Government and People of that
Member State and to all others who have lost family
CARICOM Chairman Prime Minister the Honourable
Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica held consultations
throughout Wednesday with his colleague Heads of
Government as well as with other Leaders in the
Hemisphere. The Chairman is leading a fact-finding
mission to Haiti on Friday, accompanied by Barbados
Prime Minister the Honourable David Thompson,
Jamaica Prime Minister the Honourable Bruce Golding
and CARICOM Secretary General His Excellency Edwin
Carrington, who met with the Chairman in Dominica,
on Wednesday evening.
In addition, CARICOM is moving rapidly to
mobilize emergency assistance. The Caribbean
Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is
co-coordinating the regional response for its latest
Member Haiti which joined in September 2009. The
regional response mechanism has identified four
priority areas in this regard: emergency aid;
shelter; search and rescue; and communication.
Search and Rescue Teams are on standby to proceed
to Haiti as required and CDEMA has also been
liaising with its partners, the CARICOM
Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS),
the Regional Security System (RSS), the CARICOM
Secretariat, CAREC/PAHO and the Caribbean Media
Corporation (CMC) with a view to putting in place
immediately, an assessment team in order to provide
appropriate guidance for the immediate needs of the
Haitian people. The assessment team will also be
travelling to Haiti on Friday 15.
Within CDEMA’s operational structure, Haiti falls
in a sub-regional grouping for which Jamaica serves
as the focal point. Jamaica will therefore serve as
the staging point for the regional response. The
Bahamas has offered the use of its Embassy - which
was not damaged during the earthquake - for the
operations in Port-au-Prince.
Directors of Civil Aviation of CARICOM Member
States who were attending a meeting of the CASOS in
Port au Prince are all safe and accounted for.
Efforts are being made for their evacuation as soon
In light of the communication difficulties, some
of the staff of the CARICOM Representation Office in
Haiti (CROH) have not yet been accounted for. The
Office has not been damaged.
The CROH, which is funded by CIDA, was
re-established in October 2007 to assist Haiti in
its integration into the CARCOM Single Market and
Economy. The CROH will play a very important role as
the Community continues to provide support to its
Member Stat-e, Haiti, particularly in its recovery
and reconstruction efforts.
CARICOM has accepted an offer from the Government
of Australia for immediate assistance to help the
rapid response effort and there has also been
collaboration with the United States Office of
Disaster Assistance (OFDA) based in Miami, Florida.
CARICOM expresses its continuing solidarity with
Haiti in this trying and sad time. Our prayers go
out to the people and government of Haiti.