Contributions from the private sector as well as supplies from the Office of Disaster Preparedness (ODPEM) will also be sent to Haiti today (Jan.13).
Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, in a statement today expressed deep sympathy to the people of Haiti, who are currently suffering from the effects of the devastating earthquake, which rocked the impoverished island nation yesterday afternoon (Jan.12).
The powerful earthquake, which measured 7.0 on the Richter scale, left a trail of destruction in capital Port-au-Prince, toppling buildings, knocking out power lines and communication systems, and blocking roads. Casualties are expected to be in the range of thousands.
Prime Minister Golding said he has been in contact with President Rene Preval and has assured him that "all Jamaica is offering prayers that God's mercy will take the Haitian people through this tragedy even as we begin to organise a practical response to their plight."
The Prime Minister stated that the assistance being provided by Jamaica is part of international co-ordinated efforts to move food and medical supplies into the country and also to assist Jamaican and CARICOM nationals to return home.
Mr. Golding said that in the next few days, after search and rescue teams have evaluated the physical environment to be stable, Jamaica Defence Force soldiers will be dispatched to the country to participate in reconstruction efforts, including the restoration of basic infrastructure such as light and water.
ODPEM will shortly announce the kinds of donations in cash and kind that are needed as well as the bank accounts and locations to make these donations. "Any help will go a far way to ease the pain of the survivors in the shortest possible time and I urge Jamaicans to be generous," the Prime Minister stated.