Media Center

Press Release


  September 11, 2007

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) have mobilized some $43,000 in emergency relief monies for disaster areas in Nicaragua and Dominica, where heavy rains and flooding due to Hurricane Felix, have caused a high number of deaths and destroyed several communities leaving thousands homeless and in shelters.

Assistant Secretary General Albert R. Ramdin presented separate checks today to Ambassador Denis Moncada, Permanent Representative of Nicaragua to the OAS, and to Judith Anne Rolle, the Interim Representative of Dominica.

During the brief ceremony at OAS headquarters, Ramdin reiterated that the OAS will continue to assist current efforts and support the generation of additional resources to those countries. “No country is isolated from these disasters. This is becoming a hemispheric issue that requires hemispheric attention,” he said. The Assistant Secretary General underscored the need for a structural approach to address these types of phenomena. “I think it is time for the nations of the member States of the OAS to consider a hemispheric bank for natural disasters mitigation and reconstruction,” he stressed.

Expressing appreciation, the Nicaraguan Permanent Representative, Ambassador Moncada said that “without a doubt, this type of cooperation and help are very positive and productive to gradually change the unfortunate situation that our country is going through.”

For her part, the diplomat from the Commonwealth of Dominica noted that as in Nicaragua, her country is continuing the process of rebuilding. “This gesture is a tangible demonstration of our ability to look beyond boundaries as we come together to support each other in times of need, particularly in the aftermath of natural disasters.” She emphasized that “Dominicans are resilient people weathering many storms whether they are economic storms or storms of nature, as a consequence, we have managed to come through our adversities stronger and better prepared.”

The Executive Director of the Pan American Development Foundation, John Sanbrailo, and the Pan American Health Organization Manager for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster, Jean Poncelet, explained the ongoing efforts that their organizations are providing in both countries affected by the hurricane. The Chair of the OAS Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda, Ambassador Deborah-Mae Lovell also participated in today’s ceremony.

Reference: E-213/07