PHILIPSBURG--Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Health and Coordinator of Emergency Support Function Group (ESF) seven, Joy Arnell has confirmed that there are over 9,000 persons who have registered for social assistance from the government.
In a press conference on Sunday evening Arnell said the ESF seven is working diligently to get help to those persons in need. “It is important to note that the help is for the needy,” said Arnell. She stressed that it is not possible provide food for every single person on St. Maarten however, urged those who have the means financially to purchase groceries to do so thus leaving room open for the needy to receive help.
Volunteers from the Red Cross, K1 Britannia, the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA and many other departments have been provided their services to aid in the delivery of care packages within the different districts. “We have delivered approximately 1,200 boxes,” said Arnell.
Deliveries are expected to continue for the next several weeks.
“We ask if you are in a situation where you need food, go to the website and register, or call 711 and talk to one of our 10 operators who are there to take your information,” she urged.
Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Silveria Jacobs added that the first set of deliveries carried out were from persons who were on the previous list. The new deliveries to be carried out will be of those persons who have registered on the social assessment form online.
Jacobs encouraged community leaders to continue to reach out to persons within their communities and assist them where possible registering online for social assistance.
She made a request to the community to allow “a couple more days to let the system work”.