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Jan 7, 2014

Red Cross launches appeal for assistance for flood victims in the Caribbean

Relief efforts, in the form of cash donations, are underway locally to assist victims of deadly rains and floods that washed over several islands within the Eastern Caribbean on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Torrential downpours have caused millions of dollars in damages to the islands of Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  While residents, with the aid of family and friends living in the diaspora, are starting to rebuild their lives, the University of the West Indies has launched an initiative to assist financially.  In Belize, U.W.I. is partnering with the Belize Red Cross to appeal to members of the alumni association, as well as the wider public to lend a helping hand by donating to the cause.  Rodell Beltran-Perrera is the Red Cross communications coordinator.

 

Rodell Beltran-Perrera, Communications Coordinator, Belize Red Cross

Rodell Beltran-Perrera

“It came very sudden.  The weather system which we’re calling the holiday storms that affected the Eastern Caribbean islands of Dominica, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, as well as St. Lucia. and the reports we’ve been getting over the past few weeks that we were on holiday were very frightening for not only the Red Cross in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean but locally.  And so we got some reports and of course we were asked to join in any relief efforts for those three Caribbean islands and we’ve now joined forces and collaborating with jointly with the University of the West Indies.  And we know the University of the West Indies is a very well recognized educational institution in the region and most of our citizens in the region get educated there.  We know that there’s a lot of families on those islands that really need help.  We also recognize that there’s a great problem within the agriculture sector that was affected.  So the International Federation of the Red Cross is spearheading efforts in those islands but the University of the West Indies and the Belize Red Cross locally have joined forces to carry out this appeal.  The appeal is asking for financial donations.  We are not asking for clothing or any other food items, as usually is the case but we’re asking for monetary donations.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“And this is restricted solely to members of the alumni association or this is for anyone who would want to contribute financially to the cause?”

 

Rodell Beltran-Perrera

“And you’re right there, yes.  [It’s] for anybody that wishes to contribute to this cause, to this appeal; however, UWI being a co-partner in this initiative where again the alumni we feel that there is so much widespread, over the decades, over what, three, four decades of that institution being as part of our lives.  We’re really asking the alumni, especially in Belize and in the other territories of the Caribbean to dig into their pockets and kind of like give back, especially to those persons being very needy on those three islands.”

Interested persons are asked to deposit contributions to any of Red Cross’ bank accounts within the country.

 

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