The government of St. Kitts and Nevis has already made good on its promise to assist other Caribbean territories that were recently ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, by paying out more the pledged funds.
in a post hurricane Maria National address on September 23rd, Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris disclosed that the government of St. Kitts and Nevis will pledged more than $4.5m to ravaged countries.
Dr. Harris announced the Federation will pledge to $1million to Dominica and additionally declined the EC $500,000 pledged by Dominica to St. Kitts and Nevis after Hurricane Irma.
“This sum was never received. We nonetheless thank Prime Minister Skerritt for his kind consideration.”
The Prime Minister also pledged $500,000 to the British Virgin Island, $400,000 to Anguilla and Antigua & Barbuda $400,000 and $200,000 to St. Maarten.
Dr. Harris Speaking at his monthly press conference Tuesday, (Oct.3) disclosed that majority of these fees have been paid.
“I am happy to report that the accountant general has deposited the funds earmarked for Dominica, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda and the BVI with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank where each of these governments holds an account.”
He further announced that arrangements are being finalized with respect to St. Maarten.
“I am heartened that we have been managing well. Of all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean St. Kitts and Nevis has been excellent in our generosity to our neighbours.”
“We have offer monetary and in kind contributions to Dominica, BVI, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla and St. Maarten and we must thank God that we can do so,” he said.
The Prime Minister who is also the Minister of Finance added that unlike other countries the federation does not have an ally in which they could lean on in the time of difficulty such as other territories.
“In St. Kitts and Nevis we must look and always must look to our own skills, ingenuity and industry to ameliorate ourselves, and we must save resources for a rainy day of adversity which eventually come to all nations and indeed people.”
He however noted the generosity of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Dr. Harris also announced that the Federation has also sent a contingent of security personnel to Dominica to assist with their security challenges.
“In response to Dominica’s security challenges, and although we have also been damaged and facing significant gun related homicides over the years, we being our brother’s keeper offered logistical and other support to Dominica with a contingent of police officers.”
He also indicated that while his Team Unity Administration has been very helpful to Caribbean neighbours, citizens and residents should also be commended for their thoughtfulness and generosity.
“I commend all citizens and residence of goodwill. Our comptroller of customs has advised me that of September 27 post hurricanes Irma and Maria relief support from St. Kitts and Nevis has left our seaports in a total of 44 shipments.”
Dr. Harris disclosed that 17 boats left the federation for Angulla, eight for Saba, nine for St. Maarten, one for St. Baths, two for St. Thomas and seven for Tortola.
“The principle cargo included food, water, juice, clothing and toiletries. The shipment to St. Baths included food, water and beer interestingly.” It was also noted that over the period of September 8-27, 295 passengers entered St. Kitts and Nevis by see from impacted countries.
“The largest number was 81 and they were holders of passports issued by the Government of the United States of America, 49 were our nationals returning home, 43 held French passports, 26 from the Netherlands, and 15 from India and eight from Guyana.”
He also gave an update on the promised monetary reward for essential workers who went above and beyond the call of duty during both hurricanes.
“The Ministry of finance will be ready to make payment to our essential workers during the months of October and certainly by the end of November. We urge all relevant departments to get the information to the financial secretary for processing for those payments.”