ACS Collaborating with OECS, Venezuela, Panama & Colombia to Coordinate Hurricane Relief

Secretary General Dr. June Soomer meets with ACS ambassadors

As record-strength Hurricane Irma continues to devastate the countries of the Greater Caribbean, the ACS has responded to a call from the Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Allen Chastanet, to assist in mobilising the support of Venezuela, Colombia and Panama – which have quick response systems, to collect and deliver emergency supplies to affected people in the Caribbean Basin.

ACS Secretary General Dr June Soomer met with the Ambassadors of Venezuela, Colombia and Panama in Port-of-Spain. At the meeting, Venezuela reiterated its offer of transportation as well as, to provide relief supplies to the islands ravaged by Hurricane Irma. Panama and Colombia have already activated their own disaster response systems to provide assistance.

Dr Soomer says, “They have already alerted their governments so they are on standby. The Venezuelan government has already put in place measures to ensure that military planes can deliver supplies to the affected countries. They also want to assist with canned foodstuff and water.”

The Secretary General says as the Association bringing the Greater Caribbean together, it is in a position to quickly mobilise resources to assist in such disasters as requested by the OECS Chairman. The OECS Secretariat will facilitate coordination and collaboration with the ACS and other disaster response agencies like CDEMA.

As Hurricane Irma moves between Hispaniola, and Turks & Caicos, and towards the Bahamas, Hurricane Jose, the 10th named tropical cyclone for the year is now at Category 5 strength. The 11th named tropical cyclone, Katia is also gathering strength in the Gulf of Mexico.

About the ACS

The Association of Caribbean States is the organization for consultation, cooperation and concerted action in trade, transport, sustainable tourism and natural disasters in the Greater Caribbean. Its Member States are Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. Its Associate Members are Aruba, Curacao, (France on behalf of French Guiana, Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin ), Guadeloupe, Martinique, Sint Maarten, (The Netherlands on behalf of Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius ), Turks and Caicos.