Statement By The OECS Director General On Hurricane Beryl

(OECS PR) – I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and significant devastation caused by Hurricane Beryl in our region with notably severe impact on Grenada (Carriacou and Petite Martinique) and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I send my deepest condolences to the families and all those who have been impacted by this extreme weather event. Beryl, the earliest Category 4 Atlantic Hurricane on record to form in the hurricane season, serves as a stark reminder of the realities of climate change and its adverse impacts affecting Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

We commend the respective OECS Member States, CARICOM countries, National Emergency Management Agencies, and CDEMA, who are coordinating the disaster response and recovery efforts. Our thoughts are also with Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, who are now preparing for a major impact. As a region, we must continue to remain vigilant and prepared against these impacts in what is only the beginning of an active hurricane season. Collective action and solidarity are now required to support all those affected.

The OECS Commission is working to support Member States at this time and calls upon the international community and development partners to support the rebuilding and resilience efforts underway in the region. We commend the Government of Saint Lucia for their show of support in providing a helicopter to the Prime Minister of Grenada to take him around the affected areas. The helicopter was also used to transport urgently needed medical supplies. As individual islands, we may be small, but as one region, together we can withstand and overcome all challenges. We also commend the Republic of France for offering assistance to the Governments of Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines with logistical and transportation assistance to access Carriacou and Petite Martinique (Grenada) and the many Grenadine islands (St. Vincent) that have been devastated and are currently inaccessible.