Thursday, January 14, 2010

Our Man in the Caribbean Day 3

Good morning, afternoon or evening.

Unfortunately, we've been moved to a different meeting hall where internet access in unavailable so no live blogging today. In stead, I'll do a short wrap-up next week, and of course, there will be a much more in depth review of the conference and feature on the Jewish diaspora of the Caribbean in a future issue of the Jerusalem Report.

For those who were following for my updates on the Haiti disaster, it is, of course, an ongoing concern here in Jamaica. There's a tangible concern and outpouring of grief and love for their fellow islanders; Jamaican businesses (including ScotiaBank which has a presence in Jamaica) are actively fundraising and collecting emergency aid for survivors. As well, this morning Jamaica's PM and staff are on route to Port-au-Prince to do a first-hand assessment. The expectation here is that Jamaica, and other islands, are about to receive refugees numbering in the thousands. At the very least, we're expecting that the UN, and other agencies, will have to set up tent cities in Haiti and neighbouring Dominican Republic. Confounding this effort will be destruction the UN itself has suffered. Dozens of UN peacekeepers have been reported dead, including the UN's mission chief, Hedi Annabi, and his chief deputy, Luis Carlos da Costa.

I'll try to post more on this later. Back to the conference.

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