Jamaica: Chinese Red Cross donates US$30,000 for hurricane relief

The Chinese Red Cross has donated US$30,000 to its Jamaican counterpart for the purchase of emergency relief supplies to assist persons affected by Hurricane Dean.

Ambassador of the People's Republic of China, Chen Jinghua, who presented the cheque on behalf of the Chinese Red Cross today (Aug. 24) at the Chinese Embassy in Kingston, said that the donation "reflects the deep sympathies of the people of China."

"We in China understand fully how difficult life could be and how much painstaking efforts are needed on the road to recovery right after a major natural disaster, for China itself is subject to frequent strikes of nature every year," he said.

Mr. Jinghua expressed the hope that Jamaica will recover quickly from the impact of Hurricane Dean, adding that China will continue to assist the relief effort. "It is my firm conviction that the Jamaican people will soon recover from the disaster and they will make their homeland even more beautiful," he stated.

"I wish to assure you that we will continue to do whatever we can to assist our Jamaican friends in their reconstruction effort and China will remain a reliable development partner to Jamaica forever," the Ambassador added.

President of the Jamaica Red Cross, Dr. Jaslin Salmon, who received the cheque, expressed his sincere gratitude to the Chinese Red Cross for the donation.

"When we face disasters, it is always good to know that we have friends who can respond and assist us in meeting those needs. When the Chinese Red Cross makes a presentation of this sort, we feel it deeply and we appreciate it," he said.

Dr. Salmon noted that while Jamaica was spared the worst ravages of the hurricane, some Jamaicans are still facing tremendous difficulties, and the money will go a long way in meeting the needs of those persons.

He noted that the organization will use the funds to purchase supplies such as building materials, blankets, water, food items and clothing, which will be distributed to the worst affected parishes including Clarendon, St. Thomas, Clarendon, St. Catherine, Portland, St. Elizabeth and Manchester.

Meanwhile, Director-General of the Jamaica Red Cross, Yvonne Clarke, said that volunteers are now assessing the extent of the damage in certain areas. "In addition to that, we have taken teams into the areas to give them counselling because psychological support in disasters is a part of our response. We have psychologists and psychiatrists out in the areas to assist persons in dealing with their situation," she informed.

The Jamaica Red Cross has received assistance from the local and international community to assist persons affected by Hurricane Dean.