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06/12/2013: CARIBBEAN ISLANDS SEND HELP FOR TYPHOON VICTIMS

PRESS RELEASE
WDC 128-2013
6 December 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The spirit of bayanihan knows no boundaries, as seen in the overwhelming support for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts from all parts of the world, including small outlying islands in the Caribbean that pitched in to help.

“We are overwhelmed and touched by the generosity and concern from the peoples of the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Aruba, Bermuda and Trinidad and Tobago,” said Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. “We are grateful and deeply indebted to their kindness.”

In the Cayman Islands, Ambassador Cuisia said Filipinos and locals immediately sprang into action, finding ways to raise funds to donate to their chosen relief agency or charitable institutions.

A relief fund account in the Bank of Butterfield Cayman was set up to accept cash donations while several local businesses organized fund raising events. A list of pre-screened Filipinos in the Cayman Islands with relatives in Haiyan-affected areas was compiled for submission to benefactors who can provide financial assistance.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the Red Cross issued an appeal for assistance to typhoon victims through a donation campaign. The appeal was met with much enthusiasm, according to Honorary Consul Marie Magno Advani.

“In Trinidad and Tobago there has been a tremendous outpouring of concern and care for our country and people over the havoc meted to us by Typhoon Haiyan. Calls and messages from all sectors have been coming in—expressing sympathy and also the desire to give donations,” Honorary Consul Advani said, adding that

Officials of Trinidad and Tobago also expressed their sympathies to the Philippines.

“We would like to take this opportunity to convey our deepest sympathies to you and the people of the Republic of the Philippines at this time of national loss and widespread devastation. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and those affected,” said Calisha Steele, International Relations Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Trinidad and Tobago.

Filipinos in Jamaica and the local community also sent their messages of condolences.

“We here, the Filipino community and the Jamaican people, sympathize with the situation in the Philippines It is not only a Philippine tragedy but a human tragedy as well. As humans, we are brothers and sisters, and I pray that you all keep strong in this trial from nature's wrath,” said Honorary Consul General Everoy H. Chin in a message to Ambassador Cuisia.

In Aruba, the Filipino Community conducted a radio and telethon as well as food and t-shirt sale and other fundraising activities to benefit typhoon victims, according to Honorary Consul Ami Henriquez-Mendez.

Both the Prime Minister of Aruba and the President of its Parliament also sent letters of condolences following the typhoon.

“We empathize with this great nation of yours and the Philippine Community in Aruba in its hour of sorrow and feel one with you in pain. We will keep you in our prayers,” said Prime Minister M.G. Mike Eman.

“Our sympathy goes to the people of the Philippines, most especially those who have lost loved ones. Our sympathy also goes to the Philippine community in Aruba being so far from family and friends. We are deeply touched by the suffering of so many who have lost friends and relatives,” wrote Parliament President M.J. Lopez Tromp.

In Bermuda, the Filipino Community conducted a fundraising event for typhoon victims, which was attended by officials led by Governor George Fergusson. According to Filipino Community leader Sonia LouderMilk, total donations from Bermuda reached more than $100,000, including $50,000 from the government, and were coursed through the Red Cross. ###