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Oct 25, 2017

Antigua and Barbuda Fights On after Hurricane Hits

In mid-September of this year, the island country of Barbuda was deemed uninhabitable after category-five hurricane Irma flattened the island. Thousands were displaced and transferred to the twin island of Antigua.  One week later, another category-five hurricane, Maria, swept through the Caribbean, devastating Dominica in its path; they too sought refuge on Antiguan soil. Today, in the margins of the CARICOM Mexico Summit, we got an update from Minister E.P. Chet Greene about the current state of affairs in his country in the aftermath of the disaster.

 

E.P. Chet Greene

E.P. Chet Greene, Minister of Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs

“It is really a challenge. We took the responsible position as a government to relocate all our Barbudan citizens or inhabitants rather, because they are citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, but all inhabitants to Antigua, which is the larger of the two countries. And even the maintenance of the inhabitants of Barbuda is a daily challenge, having to cope with all of the requirements for modern day living. And then in true Caribbean spirit and form, Dominica on our south was ravaged by Maria and so we opened up again from the north to all Barbudans who have a natural right to Antigua and to Dominicans to the south, who have a long history of working relations with Antigua and Barbuda. So we understand and we do know that we exposed ourselves to a greater challenge; one larger than our economy can afford. But could we afford to have Barbudans and Dominicans suffer when Antigua could be a place of refuge, at least temporarily.”

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