Leading the Way
CIG Mounts Humanitarian mission to assist Anguilla
“We in Cayman know what a devastating hurricane can do to an Island, having lived through Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Paloma in 2008,” said Mr. McLaughlin. “Anguilla is one of our Sister British Overseas Territories and we have a duty to assist them in their time of need.”
Many Caymanians and residents revealed a sense of pride as the Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin led a humanitarian mission to Anguilla on Tuesday afternoon. A Cayman Airways jet chartered by the Cayman Islands Government set off at 1 p.m. today (Tuesday, 12 September 2017) on a humanitarian mission to Anguilla.
The two-and-a-half-hour flight on the 737-300 was loaded with critical medicines, medical supplies, shelter materials and other essentials, including non-perishable food, sanitation supplies and drinking water. Two Anguillan citizens who were in the Cayman Islands also returned home on the flight.
The Premier headed up the delegation that included teams from the Health Services Authority, Health City Cayman Islands, and Hazard Management Cayman Islands. CTMH Doctors Hospital supplied much-needed medicines and medical supplies.
Deputy Premier Hon. Moses Kirkconnell was one of those on the ground in Cayman who worked with Cayman Airways to help make the flight possible. “Cayman Airways has proven time and again that it is an asset to the people of the Cayman Islands, especially during times of emergency,” said Mr. Kirkconnell. “If we can use our assets to help our brothers and sisters in the other British Oversees Territories, then we should not hesitate.”
Front-line members of the mission are expected to stay in the British Overseas Territory for two weeks although the Premier returned on Tuesday night.
The mission’s medical teams of two doctors, eight nurses and an Emergency Medical Technician will help provide much needed relief to their Anguillan counterparts. The island’s main medical facility, the Princess Alexandra Hospital, sustained severe damage in the Category 5 hurricane.
McCleary Frederick, director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands, will assist Anguilla’s National Emergency Operations Centre with initial damage assessments, communications plans, and the coordination of relief supplies.
Cayman Islands officials have offered to bring evacuees back to Cayman on the return Cayman Airways flight this evening, including several patients who will require medical treatment in the Cayman Islands.
“The Cayman Islands Government’s humanitarian mission to Anguilla is a multi-agency effort, in partnership with the private sector, to help address the needs identified by the Anguillan government,” said Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose. “We offered any assistance we could following the storm’s passage and are only too willing to help our sister British Overseas Territory in its time of need. We are confident our contributions will make a difference.”
The Cayman Islands Government has been working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to help provide security and humanitarian aid to other British Overseas Territories devastated by the hurricane. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service helicopter and crew are in Turks and Caicos conducting damage assessments. A 16-person team from RCIPS, including an armed unit, is in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, to offer security assistance. The RCIPS team was flown from Cayman to Barbados on Saturday on a Cayman Airways charter.
The UK Government has received its share of criticism relating to their response to the plight of Anguillans and have offered explanations for the timeliness of their reactions. However, the reaction of the Cayman Islands’ Government is a perfect example of a sister territory running to the aid of those affected in the Eastern Caribbean nation and we are certain that many other nations will follow its lead.