India offers aid to hurricane-devastated Caribbean nations

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New York: With the Caribbean region facing nature’s deadly fury with Hurricanes Irma and Maria pummelling through, India on Tuesday expressed its solidarity with the affected nations and offered aid.

Offering India’s condolences at the loss of lives in the devastating hurricanes, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India stood “ready to assist in your efforts to rebuild broken lives”.

“As a token of our solidarity, India will make available an emergency aid of $200,000 to the worst affected countries,” Sushma Swaraj said in her opening address at the Third India-Caribbean Community (Caricom) Ministerial Meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly here.

“I am asking our Mission to the UN to work with our partners in Antigua and Barbuda as well as Dominica and other partners to earmark an amount of $2 million from the India-UN Partnership Fund for South-South Cooperation for rehabilitation projects in Caricom,” she stated. Caricom is an organisation of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria wreaked havoc across the Caribbean, North and Central America this month claiming scores of lives.

Sushma Swaraj said that India undertook evacuation from the island of Saint Maarten for not only Indians but for nationals of nine other countries as well.

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