March 3, 2021

New lifeline for storm-hit Caribbean Islands

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Rose_0By Natricia Duncan From The Voice

group forms foundation to raise relief funds

A new fundraising initiative has been launched to support cash-strapped states left devastated by storms.

The Caribbean Peoples Foundation, set up by a group of High Wycombe residents, is already working closely with the St.Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) High Commission to help rebuild the country after torrential rain and flooding caused major devastation last December.

The catastrophe left 13 dead, forced dozens out of their homes and caused millions of dollars in damage to agriculture and infrastructure.

Co-founder and chair of the foundation, , said one of the driving forces behind the group’s formation was the “very little attention” the Caribbean received in the wake of the disaster.

Rose, who was born in St.Vincent, added: “We are compelled, first by our sense of patriotism and second by our sense of humanity to reach out to our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean, because we realise we cannot just depend on governments to provide the support that these vulnerable states need when they are in trouble.”

St_Vincent_0The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) minister, Alan Duncan, had visited the region and pledged EC$1m (£220,000) for medical supplies and sanitation equipment, to be split between SVG and St Lucia.

But earlier this year Prime Minister of St. Vincent Ralph Gonsalves, estimated it would take $300 million to “tackle satisfactorily the combined humanitarian challenge and the rehabilitation and reconstruction exercise.”

Rose, a Bucks County Council employee, stressed that the foundation is for the whole of the Caribbean. He added: “We are targeting the Dutch, Spanish and French Caribbean in this initiative, and we are hoping to get all the various high commissions involved.”

They also hope to work in partnership with other initiatives such as the Commonwealth Disaster Management Agency (CDMA), which offers support to Commonwealth member states – particularly those with fragile economies and infrastructure. A spokesperson for the , an association of 53 independent countries, said: “Resilience building for small and vulnerable countries is a major focus for the Commonwealth, notably through our work on climate, finance and debt management, and advocacy in bringing the challenges faced by these states to global attention.”

The foundation, which had its first fundraising venture in February, is planning a gospel concert later this year and a special event to mark St.Vincent’s Independence Day in October.


BATTERED: Programme aims to help Caribbean islands affected by storm devastation

MR CHAIRMAN: Clintel Rose

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