Some residents said to be abusing Barbuda relief

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Michael Joseph

The Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross is being faced with a challenge of persons trying to get free food and other items under the guise of helping displaced Barbudans.

About 2,000 Barbudans were transported to Antigua last week after Hurricane Irma devastated the 68-square-mile island. Some are now in three designated shelters, the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds, the National Technical Training and Vocational Centre (NTTC) on Nugent Avenue and the Multi-Purpose Cultural and Exhibition Centre at Perry Bay.

Red Cross President Michael Joseph is making an appeal for these people to stop immediately.

“It is a concern primarily because (at) times like these, people utilise the opportunity to take advantage of the goodwill of the public,” he said while speaking on radio.

The Red Cross, he said, was notified on Saturday that an individual had approached the owner of a restaurant trying to obtain food on behalf of the Barbudans staying at the Sir Viv Stadium.

However, when asked to show a formal letter of request that person would only say, “The people are hungry, the people are hungry”, Joseph added.

According to the Red Cross President, some individuals have gone as far as to use information synonymous with the local organisation to create a go fund me link in order to obtain donations.

“And you are seeing many of these, hundreds of go fund me being created… so there are a lot of challenges when it comes to people seeking donations for various reasons, but partly to take advantage of the public,” Joseph said.

Outside of this issue, Joseph is pleased that the donations received by his organisation are being managed very well.

“…it all goes into one account, we do have different donors that are sending to us, but they are properly recorded. We have someone coming from overseas to specifically deal with finance within the disaster period and for the first month, we never had a problem recording finances.

“We have a long many, many years of experience in managing finances, being accountable, knowing what is spent where and knowing what is not supposed to be spent where, what’s restricted and what’s non-restricted, so we have a long history of accountability and transparency when it comes to our finances with the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross,” Joseph concluded.

Reports also surfaced last week that residents on Antigua were collecting food and other items intended for the Barbudans who have been relocated here during several distribution exercises.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. They should be ashamed of themselves. Taking advantage of people’s kindness
    If they are caught I good they lost them in jail. Damn thives and Rouges

  2. This doesnt surprised me as a mater of fact i was jus waiting for it to happen…..some ppl will never see 1cent of these supposed monies being collected from created fradulent accounts….
    Even to send barrels is a ? Cos greedy ppl will benefit….
    Thats why ALL monies….clothes ..food.. sundries need to go directly to RED CROSS WITH THE APPROPRIATE ID (REQUIRED)RED CROSS ID…A NEWS CONFERENCE NEEDED AND DRIVES HELD INFRONT OF HEAD OFFICE…..SO ALL DONATIONS CAN BE MONITORED…
    SADDDD….

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