The Government of Canada Responds to the Humanitarian Crisis in Dominica, Following TS Erika

The Government of Canada is assisting the Relief Effort on Dominica in several ways.

The Government of Canada is assisting the Humanitarian Relief Effort on Dominica in several ways.

I was delighted to receive this reply from an official in Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada in response to a query I submitted last week. In the form email, I respectfully  requested aid for Dominica, following the total devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erika on August 27th, 2015:

“The Government of Canada, through [the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development](DFATD), quickly responded to the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erika in Dominica and has been supporting the emergency response efforts.

Following the disaster, Canada committed $135,000 to the Pan American Health Organization in order to help restore health services and emergency medical in affected areas, improve access to clean water and sanitation and ensure the provision of hygiene supplies.

Canada is also supporting the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Emergency Appeal for Dominica.

With Canada’s support, the IFRC and the Dominica Red Cross will respond to the immediate needs of over 10,000 people through cash transfers, basic household non-food items, shelter, health and psychosocial support, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene promotion activities.

The Government of Canada committed an additional $50,000 through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives to provide relief and assistance affected households, as identified by the Government of Dominica.”

While the Canadian government’s contribution to the Relief Effort is greatly appreciated, kindly be reminded that millions of dollars are needed to restore the country to its pre- TS Erika state.  The Prime Minister of Dominica, Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit has said that the Nature Island has been set back by at least two decades.

Numerous other countries continue to assist Dominica in its overall recovery, which will be a lengthy and challenging process.

If you are in Toronto, Canada on Friday September 25th, be sure to attend this incredible concert in aid of Dominica!

If you are in Toronto, Canada on Friday September 25th, be sure to attend this incredible concert in aid of Dominica!

Canadians  and other citizens of the world: MUCH MORE HELP IS NEEDED. Your donations of any amount would be most welcome and you can refer to various government-approved charities and accounts by clicking here.

The critical humanitarian situation on Dominica is not going to resolve anytime soon.  You can follow developments on the Nature Island through coverage on Dominica News Online.

If we all assist in our own way – be it large or small- then we will be helping to restore the beautiful Nature Island of 70,000 inhabitants to its former renowned natural glory.  Thank you!

 

Fellow Canadians, Please Help Dominica to Recover from TS Erika’s Devastating ‘Blows’

Help Rebuild Dominica

Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area and further afield, please find it in your hearts to help the Nature Island and her hopeful citizens, who have suffered tremendously at the hands of TS Erika.

This post is directed specifically at fellow countrymen and women in Canada. However, I urge readers all over the world to consider contributing to the Relief Effort  in Dominica with donations or contributions through aid organizations such as the International Red Cross  (specify Dominica) or the Government of Dominica’s special accounts in various currencies . Further information can be found by clicking Office of the Prime Minister of Dominica – TS Erika Recovery and Reconstruction Fund.

You may already know that Dominica, like Canada, is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.  But did you know that thousands of Dominicans live in Canada?  Despite their relocation, they maintain very close ties with their homeland, the Nature Island, as evidenced by the proactive Commonwealth of Dominica Ontario Association.  I have met many Dominican-Canadians over the past 18 years, and they are very appreciative of the diverse opportunities they have had in this large northern land.  The only complaint is a unanimous one: the cold!  I can certainly empathize with that.

I am not sure how many Canadians reside on the Nature Isle.  The few with whom I am acquainted have lived there for more than a decade.  Other friends have returned to Canada, but keep up ties and interest in this beautiful rainforested land that was their  home for a while.

While media coverage has been sadly lacking since the passage of TS Erika completely destroyed Dominica on August 27th, international aid has arrived from many countries – both large and small.  The country’s nearest neighbours, comprised of members of CARICOM and French Overseas Departments were quick to assist in myriad ways. British and Dutch relief ships have brought in some badly needed supplies and medical personnel.  Unfortunately,  response to this crisis has been slow from developed countries such as Canada.  Much more humanitarian aid and  support is required to help this tiny country of 70,000 people to get back on its feet.

 You may be aware that about 30  people died  and others are still missing.  People have lost loved ones, homes and sources of employment.  The demolished infrastructure is estimated at over one billion dollars to reconstruct.  The island’s Douglas-Charles airport requires $ 40 million to rebuild to become fully operational again. Agriculture, the country’s economic mainstay is no more. Hundreds of millions of dollars are desperately needed to recover from all aspects of this disaster.
People are suffering.  Two entire villages have to be relocated, as they were reduced to rubble. The need for clean water  is urgent, as gastroenteritis is becoming a prevalent health condition. Other essentials for daily living are now a critical concern.  One need only read up-to-date news reports from Dominica to gain appreciation for the shocking aftermath of this natural disaster at Dominica News Online.

General awareness of this dire situation in Canada is almost non-existent.  It would be most appreciated if the Government of Canada would consider the crisis in Dominica as a worthy area for humanitarian assistance to aid in this massive recovery effort. I attempted to call the Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday and was not successful in relaying my message by phone.  However, I did fill out a form email letter, requesting humanitarian aid for Dominica. If you would like to do the same, it could only help increase awareness about the crisis on the Nature Island.  Click here to write to  Canada. Department of Foreign Affairs .

Thankfully, there are some organizations such as the Toronto-based Commonwealth of Dominica Ontario Association (CDOA)who are spearheading a massive fundraisingGetAttachment campaign, organizing benefit concerts and collecting requested items to be sent to Dominica.  In fact, two containers are be shipped to Dominica this weekend, and it is likely another one will be sent to the Nature Island in the near future.  They have raised over $50,000 of their $100,000 CAD goal, thanks to donations both large and small to their charitable initiative.  This drive is recognized by the Government of Dominica.  Please clink on the link above to the CDOA to find out more and/or make a donation to the Relief and Recovery Effort.

As well, the Rotary Club of Ottawa South has close ties with the Nature Isle, and is organizing events and raising funds in aid of Dominica’s plight.  If you live in the Nation’s Capital, you might like to check them out.

As a Canadian who has resided on Dominica for more than 18 years, I will do all that I can to help those in my adopted home.  Fellow countrymen and women, you

Gwedominica sends plenty of good vibes to her adopted country, Dominica from her native land, Canada on a late summer afternoon.

Gwendominica sends plenty of good vibes to her adopted country, Dominica, from her native land, Canada on a sunshine-filled summer afternoon.

may not live there, you may not know much about the Nature Island, but I assure you that it is one of the most pristine places in the world, and that is why I live there. It has given me an improved quality of life and numerous opportunities for adventure in its sensational surroundings. You can find out more by reading Ti Domnik Tales, which has over 150 posts about this lovely land!  Its warm friendly people may be small in number compared to other countries, but they definitely deserve a helping hand to recover from this catastrophic natural disaster.

Please find it in your hearts to help  Dominica in its time of need.  Thank you!!!