Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sen. Maxine McClean (centre), briefing the media??on the National Collaborative Haiti Relief Effort.??At left is Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, and at right is Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Sen. Irene Sandiford-Garner.
Barbados takes its commitments very seriously, and any suggestion that it has not lived up to its promises with respect to Haiti, "is a very unfair comment".
This, from Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, in response to a query at last Thursday’s press briefing, as to whether Barbados had delivered on its pledges to the CARICOM Haiti relief effort.
Minister McClean made it clear that Barbados had pledged artisans, military assistance, military personnel for the coordination of relief efforts, and medical supplies. She also noted that Barbados had been financing the Regional Security System (RSS), even though it was a regional entity.
"The RSS has been involved in transportation, so, clearly, by extension, a significant part of those costs would be covered by Barbados," she explained.
The Foreign Affairs Minister further revealed that the country had committed to providing 80 personnel, but stressed that they could not be deployed until the coordinating, lead military officer had submitted an application.
"The request has just been received by Barbados for 57 individuals … in categories related to engineering, logistics, artisans, clerical, medical, communications, etc. We have identified 46 of those 57 persons to be provided, and the RSS will meet the shortfall," she stated.
Ms. McClean pointed out that the region’s efforts to assist Haiti were progressing smoothly, even though some persons may believe they were slow. "The movement of military personnel has to be done against a background of very stringent and clearly articulated legal arrangements," the Foreign Affairs Minister asserted.