Antigua and Barbuda PM heartened by resilience displayed by Vincentians
January 3, 2014
Antigua and Barbuda PM heartened by resilience displayed by Vincentians

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Baldwin Spencer says he is heartened by the character that he has seen displayed by Vincentians, in light of the recent Christmas disaster.{{more}}

Spencer made a visit to St Vincent and the Grenadines last weekend, during which he attended a high-level disaster management meeting, and toured parts of the country’s windward coast with Vincentian Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, to get a first-hand look at the damage caused by the recent flooding.

Spencer, who is the current chairman of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), said that from his observations, the lives of Vincentians, as well as those of St Lucians and Dominicans, have been tremendously rearranged by the storms.

“I am encouraged, however, by the kind of resilience and spirit that I have seen demonstrated since I’m here, by the Vincentian people,” Spencer said, as he spoke to the media in South Rivers following the tour.

“The resilience has been shown and although you have quite a bit to recover, we also recognise that the challenge going forward is not for St Vincent alone, it’s for the region as a people, and we have to find ways and means of ensuring that the necessary mechanisms are put in place to allow for quick response to the question of infrastructural redevelopment.

“And to that extent, in my capacity as chair of the OECS, I intend, with my colleagues and others, to work with the three governments and more particularly St Vincent and the Grenadines, because I believe you have been hardest hit in this, to make sure that we can devise a formula whereby tangible and meaningful support can be made available in quick time, to allow for the rebuilding to take place.”

The prime minister offered his solidarity on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda to the Vincentian population, and said his country and the rest of the region would be united in helping the affected islands recover.

“The lives of individuals have been severely affected, and that is my concern, that is the concern of the Prime Minister, that is the concern of the Government and that has to be the concern of every right thinking Vincentian, and together we’ve got to make it work and bring some degree of normalcy back into the lives of the people and also the infrastructure situation in the country.”(JJ)