Abrahams: Moving to strategic position
Government is seeking to position Barbados as the hub for the Caribbean response to disasters, with the construction of a purpose-built warehouse and training facility.
Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, made this disclosure during a virtual courtesy call with new Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, today.
Abrahams said Government was aiming to work in conjunction with the World Food Network and had received an offer from the United States Government for the construction of the facility.
He said while the Ministry was “firming up” the disaster management aspects to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, preparations were restricted due to infrastructural limitations.
He explained that the 250 cots supplied by Barbados to St Vincent and the Grenadines following the April 9 eruption of the La Soufriere volcano highlighted that fact, as the country required thousands of cots to accommodate those displaced.
Abrahams said that the ability to get Barbados back up and running following a disaster would be a deciding factor in its recovery process. He added that his Ministry was focused on preparing for the hurricane season, and included considerations for COVID-19 and the recent ash deposits.
The latter, he said, was likely to take weeks of cleaning, and would present “certain logistical difficulties” in preparing for the hurricane season.
Other areas of interest, according to Abrahams included Brexit which he said could have potential implications for Barbados’ citizens and their ability to travel without a visa.
He said an information campaign was needed on what post-Brexit would look like for Barbados and the Caribbean, as well as greater sharing of information on the European Union.
He said Government was working on Juvenile Justice and Child Protection legislation, and other logistical considerations in relation to the operations at the Government Industrial School. Ambassador Wasilewska said she would be happy to meet with Government’s team to work on a communications plan to share more information about the European Union. (BGIS)