CARICOM leaders to convene meeting on Hurricane Beryl response

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders are set to hold a meeting at 10 am to discuss a joint response to the devastation caused in Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines by Hurricane Beryl on July 1.

St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said he’s hoping that the meeting will be one of action and less talk.

“I spoke to the secretary general of CARICOM last night and I’m hoping that we don’t carry too long in the meeting and that we just take quick decisions about what we need to do. After the meeting, we will know the full extent of what CARICOM may or may not be able to do,” Gonsalves said.

Some CARICOM members have already begun prepping aid to be shipped to both St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada.

Guyanese president Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who is the outgoing chairman of CARICOM, has plans to send an aircraft full of relief supplies to both nations.

Gonsalves said St Vincent and the Grenadines has food and water, but the challenge remains getting it to those in need.

Gonsalves said he is working with Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to coordinate delivery since Grenada is closer to some of the small islands of the Grenadines that were ravaged by Beryl.

Gonsalves said the recovery from Hurricane Beryl will be a herculean effort for St Vincent and the Grenadines, which is still dealing with the effects of the La Soufrière volcano eruption of 2021.

“We are seeing that Beryl has occasion a setback, but we have to turn the setback into an advance,” he said.

The full extent of damage to both Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines is yet to be known and Gonsalves will be doing an aerial tour today when an aircraft from the Regional Security System arrives in Kingstown.