Clarke commits to Dominica’s recovery

From left, Barbados Ambassador John E. Beale, Congressman Eliot Engel, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke and Amb. Hubert J. Charles of Dominica.

Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke says she’s committed to helping Dominica recover from massive estruction caused by Tropical Storm Erika in August.

Clarke, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, recently met with Amb. Hubert J. Charles, permanent representative of Dominica to the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United States on relief efforts for the Windward Island.

More than 30 people were killed and dozens remain missing from Erika’s onslaught.

Dominican official said reconstruction will cost in the region of US$228 million. Almost half of the island’s annual Gross Domestic Product has been wiped out, officials said.

John E. Beale, ambassador of Barbados; Congressman Eliot Engel, ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives; and Congresswoman Maxine Waters, ranking member of the Financial Services Committee; also attended the meeting, Clarke said.

“With my colleagues, Congressman Engel, Congresswoman Waters, Amb. Charles, Amb. Beale, and the people of 9th Congressional District of New York, I am committed to the full rebuilding of Dominica,” Clarke declared.

“Since Tropical Storm Erika, the community of nations has become involved, offering contributions ranging from helicopters for search-and-rescue attempts, medical assistance, engineers to restore telecommunication, critical supplies, such as nonperishable food and clothing, and direct contributions,” she added.

Clarke said members of the Caribbean community in the United States have conducted fundraisers and collected household items to send to people in Dominica.

“Now, the United States has a responsibility to contribute to these relief efforts,” she said.

Clarke said many individuals lack secure access to the basic necessities, adding that extensive damage to the infrastructure of Dominica has isolated some villages, with hundreds of families still displaced from their homes.

“Let us continue to keep the people of Dominica in our prayers, and work with President Obama, the Department of State, the community of nations, and relief organizations in the Caribbean and the United States to provide assistance to Dominica,” she urged.

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