The Caribbean hospitality industry has set in motion efforts to provide urgent relief assistance to the people and its colleagues in the Eastern Caribbean, following the passing of Hurricane Ivan. The Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) is finalising logistics to operationalise a relief effort, in conjunction with its federation of 35 national hotel associations, for the people of Grenada. Details are expected to be released shortly.
In addition, Barbadian Hotelier Peter Odle, 1st Vice President CHA, is leading an initiative with the support of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association and CHA, to assist its counterparts in Grenada. The Barbadians are preparing a strategy to evacuate visitors stranded on the island and secure alternate accommodations in the region.
“We stand in solidarity with the people in the Eastern Caribbean - most significantly, Grenada, St. Vincent, Tobago - who have suffered loss of life and property,” said CHA President Berthia Parle. “It is encouraging to see the show of solidarity pouring in from across the region, as well as from our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean Diaspora in North America and Europe.”
Meanwhile, at press time, officials from Counterpart Caribbean and Counterpart International, CHA’s regional travel and tourism partners, were mulling over strategies to assist the Caribbean rebound from this natural disaster.
Speaking from the United Nations this afternoon, Counterpart President and CEO Lelei LeLaulu, said the passage of a hurricane can reverse decades of socio-economic development, and now is the time for donor community to rededicate themselves to the causes of small island developing states.Ê
He said next year’s International Meeting to Review the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (Mauritius, 10-14 January 2005) must do more than address the dangerous impact of climate changing emissions and sea-level rise on small islands.Ê
World leaders, said LeLaulu, had to find the political will to channel resources to help highly vulnerable island nations prepare for these threats and mitigate the devastation of natural disasters.
“Our prayers are with the people of the Caribbean as they recover from this hurricane in the East and prepare for its passage in the West,” said LeLaulu, whose organisation has years of experience bridging the gap between emergency help and long-term development by delivering material assistance and managing projects that help communities help themselves long after the foreign aid disappears.