Red Cross to establish a branch on Barbuda

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As efforts continue to rebuild Barbuda, the Red Cross is expected to set up a new branch on the sister isle. To this end, construction of a new Red Cross facility is due to commence next month.
The plans to establish a Red Cross branch on Barbuda have been affected by a few setbacks. However, the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross Society, Michael Joseph, who spoke positively with OBSERVER media, said the building should be ready by July next year, once construction begins in January 2019.
“The challenge we had is because we are working through international donors,” Joseph said. “Sometimes, the red tape takes a bit longer than we anticipated — which is the case with this one — but we just had to redo getting bill of quantities and these things to submit to our donors.
“The expectation is by the end of January that we would have completed all of the necessary checks that they need us to do and be able to start construction. We were told that there would a six-month construction period, so I estimate by the end of July we would have a completed branch in Barbuda.”
Joseph pointed out that establishing a branch in Barbuda is important, as this will enable the organization to respond quickly in the event of a disaster.
“After Hurricane Irma there were a lot of agencies and support organizations that went into Barbuda and the [final one to depart] left last Friday. So as it stands now, the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross is the only [locally-based]­ international organization that is still supporting the rebuilding efforts in Barbuda from a humanitarian agency perspective.
“Having this branch office would mean having a stable base for us to continuously transit back and forth from Barbuda to continue to support the Barbudans. We want to make sure we can be able to respond effectively and efficiently anywhere in the state of Antigua and Barbuda,” the Red Cross president said.

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