The Consulate General of Jamaica in Miami today (Jan. 15) launched a Disaster Relief Fund in solidarity with Haitian Diasporic community.
A donation container has been placed in the Lobby of the Consulate for persons wishing to make monetary contributions.
Consul General Sandra Grant Griffiths explained that the drive is to encourage those persons utilizing the services of the Consulate daily to contribute to the Fund which will be designated to the international charitable organization, Food for the Poor as one of the recipient of monetary donations to Haiti.
In an interview with JIS News, the Consul General stated that while persons were encouraged to make contributions to the Relief Drive, “donations could also be made to any other reputable aid agency of preference to support our neighbors and friends in Haiti in the disaster caused by Tuesday’s terrible earthquake.”
In addition, another local collection drive has been launched by Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) (Account number #25324104). Persons can mail checks or money orders to VMBS, Post Box 724-8801, Philadelphia, PA 19170-8801.
The Consul General also added that two accounts have been established in Jamaica through the National Commercial Bank (NCB- 061048596) and the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS – 822317) for monetary contributions by the people of Jamaica to the Haitian Relief efforts.
In an appeal to the Diasporic community to support humanitarian aid agencies in the wake of the recent disaster, Mrs. Griffiths suggested that persons consult with churches and community leaders, schools, County and State government offices for specific projects set up for collection of immediate emergency needs.
“I urge everyone to be part of the contribution to the relief effort and to encourage similar action with your communities,” she added.
Consul General Griffiths also communicated to the Diaspora the immediate response of the Government of Jamaica to date, highlighting the visit of Prime Minister Bruce Golding yesterday to the devastated island nation; the deployment of a team of officers from Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Ministry of Health, as well as coordinated activities through the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM).
Further, she added that Jamaica has been appointed as the hub for the relief activities organized by CARICOM, of which details of the Caribbean’s response plan will be announced shortly.
Following the disaster, Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board representative, Mr. Marlon Hill convened a preliminary meeting earlier yesterday, with staff of the Jamaica Consulate, leaders of Jamaican community associations, private sector interests and media partners to galvanize a concerted response from nationals across the Southern USA.
Mr. Hill suggested that the Diaspora response be coordinated and in sync with the focus of the Government of Jamaica. This, he continued could be facilitated through the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, the Consular Missions in Miami and New York, and the Jamaica Diaspora USA.
While the Haitian Government was still in the early stages of assessing the extent of damage, Mr. Hill also echoed the call for nationals to support relief efforts on the aftermath of the catastrophe that hit the island nation.