The Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross along with Regional Director of the International Federation of The Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) in the Americas Walter Cotte; Acting Director of the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross (ABRC) Barbuda Branch Peter Cuffy; Acting Chairperson Barbuda Council Emrick John; The Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda Sir Rodney Williams; his wife, Her Excellency Lady Sandra Williams along with other delegates from the IFRC, ABRC and Local Media traveled to Barbuda to conduct site visits.
The delegation was flown to the sister isle on a Plane provided by the World Food Programme.
The first leg of the visit was to the World Food Programme Tent, currently situated at the Barbuda Fisheries Complex. The Facility housed Shelter Kits and Building Materials donated to the relief efforts by the IFRC, USAID and Shelter Box.
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross (ABRC), Michael Joseph noted that in the last damage assessment conducted by the ABRC, National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) and Shelter Box, homes were marked with GPS Coordinates to simplify rebuilding and other relief efforts.
He also noted that Shelter Box has conducted training sessions with the Environment Division on how to configure and manage the Shelter Kits. He also added that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has asked the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross to Chair the Committee of Aid Agencies currently operating in the relief efforts after the impact of Hurricane Irma.
Also present at the Fisheries Complex were representatives from Samaritan’s Purse who were introduced to the Governor General and Red Cross Delegation. The next stop on the visit was to the Holy Trinity Primary School which sustained substantial damage. Subsequently, the delegation visited the Sir McChesney George Secondary School where the damage was significantly less than that of the Holy Trinity Primary.
Regional Director of IFRC Americas, Walter Cotte noted that the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross is doing a tremendous job in their response. He added that capacities needed to be brought to Barbuda to speed up the process and that communities and the corporate sector need to be an integral part of the recovery process in Barbuda.
The Governor General expressed that the Government, the Antigua Barbuda Red Cross and partner agencies did well in preparing the public for the passage of the storm. He agreed that the process needs to be sped up and put his support behind the Red Cross
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