PM Skerrit leads CARICOM team to Haiti on Friday

CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, will lead a fact-finding mission to Haiti on Friday in the wake of Tuesday’s devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

Prime Minister Skerrit will be accompanied by Prime Minister of Barbados David Thompson, Jamaica Prime Minister Bruce Golding, and CARICOM Secretary General His Excellency Edwin Carrington. The officials  met with the Prime Minister Skerrit in Dominica on Wednesday evening.

“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,” a CARICOM press release stated.

Meanwhile, according to the release , 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.

“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 and friends,” the press release stated.

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38 Comments

  1. A realistic Dominican
    January 16, 2010

    Well, as skeptic rightly said they did not even reach and it was indeed a cold political night.

  2. nilda
    January 15, 2010

    stop all this politics thing we should all come together and help our fellow men and that should be a wake up call for all of us to draw closer to god. haiti you are in ,my heart and in my prayers and also all our brave caribbean leaders may god guide you on your journey.

  3. andy
    January 15, 2010

    wow,
    i think you have to look at our socioeconomic condition now, and the policies that we have to abide by.
    Skerrit has nothing to do with a natural disaster; however, he will create conditions that the make you more vulnerable to a natural disaster.

    We have to look forward, and take a lesson from Haiti, its governments over the years, the intentions of its past governments, and their socioeconomic conditions over the years.

    You will remember this conversation one day, and come to realize that there is some truth in what I’m saying.

  4. andy
    January 15, 2010

    wow,
    Voting for Skerrit has nothing to do with a natural disaster, OBVIOUSLY.
    You have to keep in mind that nations that routinely elect people like Skerrit gradually end up in severe poverty. Look at Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, and most of South-east Asia, to name a few.
    In Haiti’s example, a lack of foreign and local investment, poor building codes, and just severe poverty put them in a situation where more people were vulnerable to the effects of a NATURAL DISASTER.

    Another example that we can relate to is New Orleans’ Katrina. The residents of New Orleans routinely voted in Mayors and Governors who think a lot like Skerrit. In that case the Hurricane wasn’t the natural disaster, it was the weak levies that were neglected by the local government, even though the local government had received millions of dollars to maintain and repair those levies. Instead, the local government re-appropriated those funds to create the perfect welfare state. On the other hand, when you look at a state like Florida, which is run differently, and gets hit by hurricanes every year, they never had such problems.

    SO, the lesson is: when governments make the citizens more dependent on government like in the examples that I’ve given above, the country’s infrastructure deteriorates, investment in industry declines, unemployment increases, the people’s spirit declines, and people fall into a situation where they can not fend for themselves.

    Don’t you think the death toll would be less if the country had more wealth? There would still be casualties, but not at this magnitude…no way!

  5. January 14, 2010

    Have a safe trip MR.PM…I pray that you and ur fellow colleagues will be protected while u all are in Haiti..
    My prayers go out to the people of Haiti…
    The people who are posting those negative comments now is not time for that..We all need to sit and ask ourselves a question, put all our differences aside and help in anyway we possibly can..
    We need to seriously pray…that was a wake up call for all of us in this world..let us come together to build a better world..”the people of Haiti be strong..trust in God, he is the Master”
    once again..MR.PM SAFE FLIGHT!!

  6. CARICOM CARIGO
    January 14, 2010

    I thought i read that in one of skeptic’s long long edic, its good to see someone else looking at it through the eyes of skeptic and the US motive, and thats what makes it more ironic. I think the disater already taking a twist. You should hear some of foxs commentary.

    May God have mercy on the good people and the land of Haiti, and the good people of CARICOM.

    Our Prays and support are with them.

  7. Thoughtful
    January 14, 2010

    At 9:00 p.m. Dominica time on January 14, Chairman of CARICOM Roosevelt Skerrit was locked in a meeting with Prime Minister of Jamaica Bruce Golding who had just returned from a trip to Haiti.

    Mr . Golding had visited Haiti earlier in the day to personally survey the damage done by the devastating earthquake. Mr. Golding is to brief Mr. Skerrit on the situation and discuss ways to move forward.

    Minister of Information Daryl Vaz, who accompanied Mr. Golding to Haiti, told CVM TV a local television station in Jamaica that Mr. Golding has agreed to use Jamaica as the transit and staging point for CARICOM’s relief effort to Haiti.

    Mr. Vaz told the television station that situation is Haiti is of utter chaos. “The right hand don’t know what the left hand is doing,” he said. He stated that the airport in Port au Prince had to be closed because it is congested by incoming relief supplies but there was nothing in place to distribute it to those in need.

    The Golding delegation met with the Prime Minister of Haiti who expressed his happiness in seeing his Caribbean neighbors and he said he looked forward to meeting the CARICOM delegation as every single ounce of effort is needed in face of the disaster.

    The chaos on the ground makes it even more important for those who are offering assistance to meet with the authorities in Haiti in order to coordinate the relief. Since all forms of electronic communication are down the CARICOM’s mission to Haiti is even more critical.

    So I cannot understand the criticism here. Even the US assistance is at a stand still as there is no central command for the relief effort. Hopefully this will be sorted out within the next couple of days

    Furthermore, why depend on the US State Department as suggested by Skeptic when we can take some initiatives ourselves. Why do we always have to depend on the US all the time? The US is doing its thing for political reasons, to show its continuous influence in the world.

    CARICOM is doing the right thing and I proud of what they are doing.

    Stop politicizing this disaster.

  8. CARICOM CARIGO
    January 14, 2010

    Isnt there an emergency arm of CARICOM called CEDRA. I wonder what their resposibilities are. AGAIN, as Skeptic say……….the Cart infront and the horse behind………. Is that the way we will continue doing business year in year out?. I wonder if a new approach would not bring higher yield.

  9. Donations
    January 14, 2010

    All of you, who are on here commenting and fight, have you made a donation yet? its easy text on your phone yele 501501 and this will donate $5 towards the people of haiti, go to witchurch, the red cross and many more places to go to donate, stop the fights and name calling its not helping any one.

  10. wow
    January 14, 2010

    Andy,

    wow you sound like an infant yourself, what does voting for skeritt have to do with a natural disaster, come on grow up, this could have happen any where including in our own country, this is not a game over 100,000 people is dead and our PM is the chairman of caricom and he has to lead this team in there for the releaf effort, so sit back think about what you are about to say before you come online and sound like an idiotic child.

    And maybe you should take a page from your book and start praying for yourself because you need some prays you sound really head sick.

  11. Irie
    January 14, 2010

    Garcon, de Pm putting himself in harms way going over there, you never know if an aftershock will strike, God forbid. De place in a state of emergency, rubble, collapsed buildings, people looting…. its a dangerous situation, he can do more good at home rallying the rest of caricom to join us in sending financial aid, relief supplies and personnel over there. The fact finding mission cost could go into a relief fund… I wonder if any of them fact finders trained in first aid or any life saving techniques incase the unspeakable happens….the situation bad, the people need all the help they can get, he doh have to go over there to see that. I not political just practical, now is not time to go and peep and see what happen…., we all know a catastrophe happen, he just have to mobilise the people and resources so Haiti can make a recovery, he also need to be meeting with our haitian-dominican population and see how he can assist those that want to go back to help, and how many of them have located family that urgently need to be relocated…..and to take things from there.

  12. Proud
    January 14, 2010

    Does everything have to be political?
    As the chairman of CARICOM, the PM has a responsibility to fulfill. So for the ignorant , politically blinded disgraces who are seeking to dis-credit his efforts, please do the rest of us a favor and GET A LIFE.
    He is not going there in the capacity of Primeminister of Dominica, but as the chairman of CARICOM. If you would take your heads out of your butts for one minute, you would realise that this is not the time to brandish your lopsided political portfolios.
    The people of Haiti need our help now, more than ever, and will continue to do so for sometime. Let us make our respective contributions, and assist in whatever ways we can.
    Hon. PM we wish you and your colleagues a safe trip and pledge our resolve to continue to keep the people of Haiti in our prayers and in our wallets.

  13. Skeptic
    January 14, 2010

    And dont forget you have the media to call on the hour press conference. To give the people up to the “minute information”

    And positive Dominican, stop your political stupidity talking about 18 to 3…….. when the world and our caribbean neighbour is in chaos. Remember our climatic conditions in Dominica, somewhere along our history their might be an 18 to 3 chance of a earthquake or volcano. we have 11 active one if you dont know.

    Now we would want action then wont we including pray and lots of pray.

  14. Skeptic
    January 14, 2010

    Sorry PositiveDominican, I heard theres a lot of you around, i neither in the 18 nor the 3. am an “earthling”……..

    .Impacttheworld………. i concure………you must be a realist and mordern thinker, and someone who thinks outside the box its good to put things in perspective and call a dame spade a spade. Inspite of who you support

    We all know what is required, emergency supplies and those folks who can deal with emergencies, folks who can deploy search and rescue, folks who can cook and serve the masses, military personel to keep the peace, and in case you aint know. Money money money for today and tomorrow, folks who can role up their sleves and get work done, folks who can mount tent, experts in telecommunication, doctors to care for the sick, udertakers, morgues, priest, parson to burry the dead, water water water, haiti is very hot. when the dust is settle we can do all the missions we want. Dont set the cart before the horse. I wonder if any of them hold a box of water. And positive Dominican, my argument is towards caricom fact finding mission, i hate to think that you cant read. Caricom always good at talking now is the time to show some action.

    Some suggestions again

    1.Deploy the SSU. they can help in many many ways

    2 Open a central clearing house or food bank in colaboration with the red cross in one of the gateways in Caricom, like Jamaica since it close to haiti and stock up on supplies with the help of liat, from there, deploy some of our regional logistic people to coordinate this. You aint have to go in chaos to realize it’s chaos, The head of Caricom could call the State Department and offer their help, ask for a aircraft or two………. something like that.

    and you would be doing that just like Obama siting in your office.

  15. January 14, 2010

    SKEPTIC, what a wonderful idea,with such extensive damage at the Port,Cranes in the sea but you suggest a Boat loading water to get to Haiti.Do you know how long a load takes to get and Haiti is not next to Guada or Martinique.Just because you want to be a critic you should think before.

  16. get real
    January 14, 2010

    how come DR wasnt affected by that earthquake…quite strange few pastors are saying god distroyed the city because of all the evil they’re involved in. i pray for mercy on their souls and for a breakthrough…

  17. positivedominican
    January 14, 2010

    Andy and Skeptic, two attention-seeking fools who forgot the elections are over. Remember? 18-3?Gosh, let’s move on PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. January 14, 2010

    back you on that Andy, we have all seen the photos of how sad it is over there .Mr Pm rally your supporters a nd raise fund s there is nothing you can do over there right now. My people need money a nd help take in a few more women and children that would be much better not a photoshoot .

  19. Teacher
    January 14, 2010

    Common people, Hon. Skerrit is not going to Haiti as the PM of Dominica. He is the CHAIRMAN OF CARICOM. STOP PLAYING POLITICS WITH EVERY ISSUE.

  20. Thoughtful
    January 14, 2010

    To my Haitian brothers and sister around the world, pardon the thinking of my fellow Dominicans.

    In the midst of such overwhelming catastrophe we find time to bring in our small time politics and our biases.

    Skeptic, the “foreign service” is in shambles in Haiti so is communications. No one can get through to Haiti right now. Its complete chaos. Even now the US authorities are still accessing damage to their embassies. It took six hours to unload a plane from China. This just shows the extent of what is happening on the ground. Its not simple as one, two, three as many people are making out to be.

    You expect Obama to go to Haiti? While he can order an aircraft carrier or a destroyer to sail to Haitian water to do research for him, CARICOM cannot. As of yesterday US coast guard helicopters were circling the airport in Port au Prince, surveying the damage and reporting back to the US authorities. Aren’t these call ‘fact finding missions?’ Based on the reports from these flights, the US authorities can determine to what extent the airport can be use and how incoming flights can be coordinated. (A helicopter carrying a CNN news crew almost collided with a fixed wing aircraft, so there is chaos even in the skies).

    Let us quit pointing fingers and who should do what in the face of this terrible disaster.

  21. Impacttheworld
    January 14, 2010

    My heart goes out to my brothers and sisters in Haiti. We can all give something…even if it is a couple of dollars. I have not seen a link on this website that would allow someone to donate to many of the organizations like the Red Cross, CARE, UNICEF, Yele Haiti, etc.

    One further comment: I did know that fact-finding missions are conducted under these conditions. The prime minister of Dominica and CARICOM are on a fact-finding missiong? What are they hoping to discover? They should concentrate on relief, and worry about fact-finding later. I support my prime minister, but for now, he should live the assessment to others. In a crisis where human lives are at stake, only doctors and rescuers make assessments. This is not an geographical expedition.

  22. precious stones
    January 14, 2010

    Hats off to you Mr. PM let the people of Haiti know that our prayers are with them. and may the Lord protect you and your team over there.

  23. precious stones
    January 14, 2010

    Hats off to you Mr. PM let the people of Haiti knows that our prayers are with them. And may the Lord guide you and your team over there.

  24. Skeptic
    January 14, 2010

    Albert, may i ask what is our efforts? And Yes thoughtful, what is the action.

    Andy……..you right on Q

    Fom the time the news broke on Tuesday i glue to my television as a political student. I doing my fact finding mission myself. I will tell you the research i doing. To witness the leader of the free world response. And he shined. And i am pleased. Oh i can’t remember he going on fact finding mission. He roll up his sleve and he delivered. Yes he delivered.

    Oh, I have long did my pledge.

    Caricom will not be the central command, it will be the “fly on the wall”. This is Obama’s Katrina. He has already pledge 100 million $ in case you did not see his last news conference this morning. This is the perfect opportunity for America to lead the world and get thier “balls” back. You noticed the secreatary of States cut short her trip and came right back home and she was standing side by side with Obama this morning ? That reminds me of a disaster we had here in Dominica and there was “missing in action” as reported by the press. Does A cruise ring a bell? Oh well, I was not here so maybe i got my facts wrong.

    To every one who does not know, we the citezens of the world including Dominica, eat, sleep, spend, drink, politics. So i will let that one pass. Even those who give encouragement is cloud in politics. Some people ascribe the decenters as the politicans and the appologise and sympathizers as true patrons. Well not this so call idots or a****. There is politics in every thing we do. Remember Katrina. ( Katrina + Bush = Disaster). Katrina was the hurrican add Bush you got the disaster. Action , Action,

    You dont have to go on a fact finding mission to know who is in control. That is why you have your foreign service and there is something we call communications. but maybe too, am an idot. It reminds me of a story my mother told me about a man who could not drive well. When he reach to take a corner he sends someone to look if another transport is coming around the corner and the man will tell him by sign come or stay. He forgot he had to stay on his side and honk his horn or flash his light.

    We must always strive to get it right at all times especially now we on a next level. I will tell you who in command, The President of the united states. And in case you do selective reading,” Andy reminded you . Stop your crap and start moving.

  25. andy
    January 14, 2010

    Shocked,
    WAKE-UP!!

    FYI, i didn’t only pledge. I made a donation already.
    More than that, you should be trying to add something substantial to the conversation rather than sounding like an infant!! LOL :)

    Keep voting for master Skerrit, and Dca will become Haiti 2 in no time.

    Wake-Up, People!!!

  26. positivedominican
    January 14, 2010

    To Skeptic: its better to be thought of as a fool than to take up valuable time typing that **you wrote and erase all doubts. Garcon, Dominique ni moun ki sort.

  27. shocked
    January 14, 2010

    Oh please andy! shut your teeth! i hope u pledge your thousand dollars already moron.

  28. andy
    January 14, 2010

    Wait a minute…”Fact Finding”?

    Here are the facts:

    There was an earthquake, yes!

    The average citizen is dirt POOR.

    The average Haitian depends almost entirely on their government.

    What else is there to find?

    If you tell me that you want to take a trip to Haiti to take a few photos to make you look good, and to spend some of, your buddy, Hugo’s money i will understand. Don’t take us for fools and tell us about this “Fact Finding”!

    The Haitians need a good, stable government that will encourage the development of a strong private sector.

    Here’s another fact: YOU will be be more helpful and effective my staying home and saying a PRAYER for the people.

  29. Thoughtful
    January 14, 2010

    Skeptic stop being ridiculous.

    Everything is in chaos right now as Haiti never has had the infrastructure in place to handle a disaster of such proportion in the first place.

    CARICOM doesn’t have the resources as the big boys but if they are going to offer assistance, they need to know who is going to be in charge and who is coordinating. You yourself mentioned it appears no one is in charge over there, which is true. This is what the mission is all about, to find out and work out who is in charge over there. If you are going to offer help you just cannot offer it in a vacuum. Even if your send a water ship, who is going to distribute the water? Even the port in Haiti is damaged. (You think it easy to just get a water ship like that and full it up with water to send to Haiti? That is going to days, if not weeks)

    The relief effort in Haiti needs to be centralized immediately and this has to be done by the big boys since they have the resources. if the effort was already centralized and CARICOM was going on a fact finding mission, then I would laugh.

    China has boots on the ground already but they are basically doing their own thing without a central command.

    I applaud CARICOM for the effort. At least something is being in done. Action speaks louder than words.

    In the meantime the suffering people of Haiti are in my thoughts

  30. Shakier Scotland
    January 14, 2010

    Way to go Mr. PM …… And all members of caricom .

    I’ve never gotten personal with anyone on DNO ,

    But I got to say Skeptic you’re a *** !!!!!

  31. Neg Bawie
    January 14, 2010

    To Skeptic:
    It truly amazes me that even in the midst of of the Caribbean’s worse ever tragedy you can find time to introduce political overtones and make sick jokes

  32. ALBERT
    January 14, 2010

    MR. SKEPTIC…HAVING READ THE FULL CONTENT OF YOUR CONTRIBUTION I CAN HONESTLY CONCLUDE THAT YOU ARE AN IDIOT.
    THIS IS A TIME WHEN WE MUST LEARN TO PUT ALL OUR DIFFERENCES ASIDE. OBVIOUSLY, WE IN THE CARIBBEAN CAN’T DO MUCH, BUT WE CAN DO SOMETHING…IT IS THROUGH THE STRENGH OF OUR EFFORTS THAT WE WILL BE BLESSED.

  33. FREE HAITI PLEASE
    January 14, 2010

    PLEASE FREE HAITI FROM THE GRIPS OF ETERNAL DEBT IMPOSED ON THE IMPOVERISHED NATION BY MEANS OF HIGH INTEREST LOANS.WE ALL KNOW THAT HAITI CAN BE THE GREAT NATION IT WAS DESTINED TO BE ,BUT THE INTERESTS OF THE GREATER NATIONS WILL BE SIDELINED IF THEIR DEBTS ARE CANCELLED.THAT’S THE ONLY WAY HAITI IS GOING TO BECOME SELF VIABLE …VIA DEBT CANCELLATION .IT IS HIGH TIME WE PLEAD TO THE INTERN ATIONAL COMMUNITY ,ESPECIALLY THE U.S (IMF HENCHMEN) TO HAVE HAITI’S DEBTS CANCELLED.

  34. King of Alll
    January 14, 2010

    Go Pm. , our prayers are with you all. better late than never, matter of fact, we are not late. cuz they still looking for people. all the best be safe, Dominica is with you Mr Skerrit

  35. Skeptic
    January 14, 2010

    is it ok if i laugh!!!!!!!! a little, even in these time one can find humour. Is this thing still around nah “Fact finding mission” oh yes rigth i forgot where i am, i live in the EAstern Caribbean. Dont worry Caricom the big boys are already there, i wonder if they will ask who are you all. Travel with you’ll placard please. We on fact finding mission “We on emergency stanby” We come to gather data. If things dont work out weare here to help just provide the Secretary general wth the data and a report so we could go keep a meeting in some nice hotel how to approach this thing. Get to the next level people, it is mobilaztion time, time for action, not meeting.

    What you should be doing here is

    1. Give a speech to the hatian people in Dominica, let them know that the country and the Caribbean is in solidaruty with them during this sad time.

    2. Mobilise the SSU with medical supplies and that is, IF, we have any.

    3. Call in a water ship to send free water, is that we have in abundance , is that they want right away.
    while the ship on the sea, send a couple hundred boxes by air. We might not be ablr to help in all areas but we can be effective in one area, at least they could say the region brought in water.

    4. Make sure you all know who in charge over there right now, because, from the look of things it aint the President or the Prime minister, from the look of things and the interview the prez did with CNN, they are overwhelm, and dont have a clue what happen, the man house gone and you know how you all like big accommodation. This a G 8 response,cordinated right from the White house, and 10 downning Street. Even China have boots on the ground already. Oh myyy…… where Chavez.
    This is big move boyz. We will understand if you feel out done. After all, , we know we potential. You should realize by now where Caricom and ALBA fits into the global picture. I watching ball by ball commentary i await to see and hear when CAricom reach.

    5. Hold some sleeping bags its gonna be a cold night.

  36. DIASPORA NOT FELLOW DOMINICAN
    January 14, 2010

    Ok thats a great move. However please be very careful. Our prayers will be with you covering you.

    Be safe

  37. lookscene
    January 14, 2010

    SKERIT TAKING LEAD..WHAT A LEADER THANK YOU MR PM THANK YOU YOU MAKING ME PROUD.. CARICOM TOOK TIME BUT BETTER LATE THAN NEVER THEY NEED ALL THE HELP THEY CAN GET.

  38. WARMA
    January 14, 2010

    Thank you PM – please extend our heartfelt condolences to our Haitian brothers and sisters – God bless them….please help them any way you can.

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