Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation Mark Brantley (right) and His Excellency Mitsuhiko Okada exchanging the signed documents. (SKNIS)
BASSETERRE – The Government of St Kitts and Nevis’ response strategy to mitigate the impact of natural and man-made disasters has been fortified by the donation of disaster reduction equipment from the Government of Japan valued at US$800 000.
At a signing ceremony last Friday at Government Headquarters, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation Mark Brantley said the equipment was timely and of great importance.
“The provision of disaster reduction equipment is a timely and welcome contribution to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA),” Brantley said, adding it was a significant contribution to the Government’s efforts to achieve and maintain an appropriate state of national preparedness for natural disasters and other emergencies.
Minister Brantley noted that the equipment will “enhance both the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the disaster risk management services” in the Federation.
His Excellency Mitsuhiko Okada, Ambassador of Japan to St Kitts and Nevis, spoke of the Caribbean region, specifically referring to St Kitts and Nevis’ susceptibility to natural disasters and effects from climate change, stating that the necessity of such a programme will aid in the Federation’s disaster management efforts.
“This Grant Aid Programme is able to enhance the disaster preparedness in St Kitts and Nevis and it is of hope that this programme will significantly reduce disaster damages in the future,” he said.
Minister Brantley used the occasion to applaud the Government of Japan on the importance it has placed in strengthening the long standing bond of friendship between the two countries and thanked them for the staunch support and the extensive cooperation since both countries established diplomatic relations in 1985.
The foreign minister extended special thanks to His Excellency Ambassador Okada for his efforts in ensuring that the project is realised before the end of 2015.
Also present at the ceremony were Kaye Bass, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation; Osmond Petty, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security; Carl Herbert, Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA); Jacob Gumba, Senior Communications Officer in the Nevis Disaster Management Department and Takafumi Ura, Second Secretary. (SKNIS)