Chairman of the OECS Authority, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, has appealed to member countries of the sub-grouping to commit at least US$100,000 to aid in relief efforts for Dominica.
Prime Minister Mitchell’s appeal was made in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Erika, which left at least 25 dead and millions in damages last week.
The OECS head is also proposing that member states with Economic Citizenship Programs, seek donations from high net worth individuals resident in the OECS or their philanthropic foundations, in amounts ranging from US$100,000 to US$500,000.
“Our brother Prime Minister Skerrit, has indicated that one of the most pressing needs is for cash assistance totaling US$15 million. While the donor community is quick to respond with offers of material assistance, the mobilization of cash is not as easy,” said the OECS chairman, in a letter to all the Prime Ministers of member countries.
“From my own experience it is one of the most vital needs, if Government is to have the flexibility to respond speedily to clean up imperatives and other urgencies. It is evident that our best chance of mobilizing this resource is to encourage philanthropic sources to donate”.
Dr Mitchell was Prime Minister of Grenada when Hurricane Ivan ravaged the country in 2004, claiming lives and causing extensive damage to agriculture and the country’s housing stock.
The Grenadian leader informed colleague Heads of Government of the OECS, that he has been working closely with the OECS Commission to ensure everything possible is done to support Dominica’s recovery, and has appealed for the strongest show of support.
“We are all aware of the extensive nature of the devastation unleashed by Tropical Storm Erika on our sister state of Dominica this past week,” Prime Minister Mitchell said.