Following the devastating earthquake on Tuesday in Haiti, a Caricom member state, the Association of the Caribbean States' (ACS) secretary general, Luis Fernando Andrade Falla, has called on the media to play a major role in the networking of such an emergency. Falla was speaking at a news conference at Ernst & Young Building, Sweet Briar Road, St Clair, yesterday. Falla said though Caricom had an office in Haiti which had been instrumental in the collection of information, there was only so much it could do with the magnitude of the disaster. "We have sent out news to the entire region with regards to the need of assistance. Some institutions have been responding, but this is a matter for all to get involved," he said.
Falla added that the media must play a key role with regards to information being collected and conveyed as presently, it is difficult to even connect with the Haitian authorities to establish the state's immediate needs
"It has been difficult for us to have a continuous connection, due to the extent of the damage in Haiti, but we do have an ambassador to Haiti on the ground who is able to connect with us from time-to-time," he added
Falla said as more detailed information on the extent of the damage and losses becomes available, the Secretariat would be available, as well as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), to assist Haiti. "The ACS awaits further news from the Haitian authorities on the country's situation and needs as determined by its national experts," he said.