Cooperation & Assistance Critical Post Disaster

Minister of Home Affairs and Information, Wilfred Abrahams greets French Ambassador to Barbados, Francis Etienne, during a recent cocktail reception on board the French Navy vessel, Frigate “Ventose” at the Port of Bridgetown. (GP)

The importance and value of outside assistance in the aftermath of a disaster was highlighted during a recent visit by French Navy vessel, Frigate “Ventose” at the Port of Bridgetown.

In welcoming the ship’s crew during a recent cocktail reception on board the vessel, Minister of Home Affairs and Information, Wilfred Abrahams, pointed out that the Frigate “Ventose” assisted Barbados and the Caribbean with drug interceptions, rendered humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

He explained that Barbados nor the Caribbean could not do it alone, and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) required assistance from larger countries with the resources to respond post disaster.

“When a disaster strikes us, we need to lean on military power to assist us with transport into affected areas, to assist us with airlift into affected areas. The Ventose” is one of those ships that provides that sort of assistance for us. I am really pleased to have the commander and his crew in Barbados,” he said.

French Ambassador, Francis Etienne, echoed similar sentiments noting that his focus will be on increased synergies and cooperation.

He stressed that they were interested in playing a greater role to enhance cooperation with the Regional Security System, IMPACS and organisations like CDEMA. “I will do my utmost to implement that,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Commander of the vessel, Ruf Matthieu, also expressed a desire for the strengthening of linkages between Barbados and France and acknowledged he was pleased to be able to participate in the island’s 56th Anniversary of Independence.

Author: Julia Rawlins-Bentham/BGIS


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