CARICOM has requested assistance from Chile in the event of future natural disasters.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, while speaking on a radio program, earlier this week said President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera was present at CARICOM’s Thirty-ninth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government which took place in Jamaica from 4 to 6 July 2018.
It was there the opportunity presented itself for discussions to be held with President Piñera.
“One of the things that we asked Chile for and the President is to get back to us in the next seven days is to put on standby some assets; sea transport and also air transport and that we can call on Chile in the event that we have a difficulty,” Mr. Skerrit said.
He explained that following Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year, transportation of personnel and supplies from one state into Dominica and even the BVI, Barbuda and other affected islands posed an issue as there was a lack of available transportation within the member states.
Members of the Jamaica Defense Force deployed to Dominica following Hurricane Maria waited for days due to a lack of transportation until the government of Canada stepped in making a military aircraft available for their use.
“So what we’ve asked the President of Chile for is whether they would be prepared to assist us to put some arrangements in place in the event we would need such support.”
President Piñera according to Prime Minister Skerrit has not objections to this request however indicated that he needs to speak with his military to discuss the availability of the assets and how they can be assigned.
CARICOM leaders also called on Chile to put mechanisms in place in terms of disaster management.
“So they will be providing some technical and human resources to us to look at our system and see how they can assist,” Mr. Skerrit said adding that Chile has a very good system.