The Dominica National Development and Disaster Fund (DNDDF) has confirmed receipt of a donation of ten thousand US dollars accepted on its behalf by Francine Baron when she served as Dominica’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
That donation, which was accepted in 2014, is at the centre of an ongoing dispute in which Minister Baron has demanded an apology from Opposition Leader, Lennox Linton; radio broadcasters Angelo Alleyne and Matthias Peltier Jr. and Q95FM Radio.
In a letter to all parties issued on Tuesday 21 February 2017, Minister Baron claimed that they had defamed her reputation by alleging that she misappropriated the funds collected on DNDDF’s behalf.
Minister Baron has also requested that the four pay ten thousand US dollars to a charity of her choice by Friday 24 February 2017 or else she will refer the matter to her attorneys for action.
Mr Linton responded to the letter, via a video posted on Facebook, indicating that he merely asked questions about the donation and that Minister Baron should provide proof of the defamatory things he allegedly said.
“The DNDDF confirms that in 2014 a donation of $10,000 US (approximately £6,000) was received from KB Foundation for the purchase of disaster emergency items for the Commonwealth of Dominica in appreciation of the Disaster Preparedness and Relief work being planned by the charity from its base in London, United Kingdom,” the DNDDF wrote in a press release issued to the media on Thursday 23 February 2017 indicating that
The press release notes that in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Erika, and due to the availability of the $10,000 US donation received from the KB Foundation, as well as £8,000 of funds raised by the DNDDF over the years, the Management Board resolved to contribute a total of £15,000 ($65,000 EC) to the Dominica Red Cross (DRC).
“The DNDDF’s donation was presented by its local representative in Dominica on 29 September 2015 at the DRC’s National Headquarters. The purpose of the donation was to assist the DRC in its recovery efforts, including the provision of emergency water, food, etc. to several communities isolated as a result of extensive damage to roads and bridges, compounded by landslides making numerous roads impassable in Dominica,” the press release further indicates.
It added that the donation by the DNDDF, in addition to the mobilizing of aid and shipping of container loads of items to Dominica in conjunction with the High Commission for the Commonwealth of Dominica in London, other Dominican charities such as DUKA, DONA, DCO, CIF, DSSSA etc., other community groups and individual donors, underpinned the purpose for which the DNDDF was established and registered as a charity since in 1991 with the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales.
“As such, the Management Board of the DNDDF accounts for all of its fundraising revenue and expenditure, and the donations which are the subject matter of this Press Release are no exception. The DNDDF remains committed to sustaining its efforts to assist the development of and contribute towards disaster relief in the Commonwealth of Dominica,” the statement concludes.