TT Government sets up multi-million dollar fund to assist victims of Bret

The Trinidad and Tobago government has announced a TT$25 million fund to assist victims of Tropical Storm Bret that swept through the oil-rich twin island republic earlier this week causing widespread destruction mainly in the east and northern section of the country.

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young, speaking at the end of the Cabinet meeting on Thursday said that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had put a proposal to Finance Minister Colm Imbert “that we move to establish immediately, a relief fund for the flooding and other off-shoots of what has taken place as a result of Tropical Storm Bret, over the past 48 hours, of $25 million”.

He said the money will be disbursed among the Ministries of Social Development and Family Services; Local Development and Rural Development; and Works and Transport.

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No one was killed as a result of the storm but the Office of Disaster preparedness and Management (ODPM) said as many as 100,000 people had been affected as a result of the passage of the first named storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.

Social Development and Family Services Minister Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn, said her ministry offers a range of benefits to distressed citizens, moreso those affected by natural disasters.

She said in instances where the roof of houses have been blown off, a sum of TT$20,000 will be provided per applicant.  In addition, a TT$10,000 grant can be accessed to replace furniture such as refrigerators, stoves, beds and dining tables. Crichlow-Cockburn said individuals must submit their claims to the ministry.

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