Trinidad PM visits St Lucia and pledges assistance without strings

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by Caribbean News Now Staff

CASTRIES, St Lucia — Trinidad and Tobago prime minister, Kamla Persad Bissessar, was praised by St Lucia’s prime minister, Stephenson King, when she and three other ministers visited Castries on Friday, for her quick response to rally to St Lucia’s assistance in the wake of the passage of Hurricane Tomas.

Persad Bissessar, her ministers and technical advisors were taken on a tour to the areas that were seriously affected by the hurricane.

King said that the country would need approximately US$500 million “to get up and running again". He said one of their immediate concerns was a supply of fresh water, but noted that the United States already has a contingent of engineering specialist troops on the island working around the clock to get water flowing again.

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Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar

The Trinidad Express reported that the Trinidadian prime minister said, "We remain committed to assisting you and the people of St Lucia. There are no strings attached to the humanitarian aid that we bring and will continue to send to you for reconstruction."

She made it quite clear, however, that her country could not afford as much as the TT$3 billion needed, but promised to assist as much as she could.

Persad Bissessar distributed hampers to residents in some of the areas. She disclosed that two Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard vessels with relief supplies were scheduled to arrive in St Lucia over the weekend and containers with similar supplies will be sent to St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Trinidad and Tobago Local Government Minister, Chandradesh Sharma, who visited St Lucia with his prime minister, said, "As part of the CARICOM family we are willing to lend support to St Lucia and we have witnessed quite a large amount of destruction, including destruction of the banana industry which generates a lot of income to the country."

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