Wed | Jan 26, 2022

100 care packages shipped to Cuba for Jamaican medical students

Published:Thursday | November 4, 2021 | 5:02 PM
Johnson Smith: “The Ministry's one-off assistance to students materialised through consultations among a number of stakeholders including virtual meetings with the Diaspora, Protocol and Consular Affairs Division within the Ministry, the Jamaican Embassy in Cuba, parents, and student representatives located in Cuba and in Jamaica.' - File photo.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is reporting that 100 care packages and 152 personal care items have been shipped to Cuba to benefit Jamaican medical students.

The shipment departed Jamaica on October 28 and arrived in Cuba on Tuesday, November 2.

Portfolio Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith, in a statement today, explained that despite detailed plans being made and implemented, there were delays that were outside the Ministry's control.

“We sincerely regret the inconveniences that would have been caused by the delayed shipment and will continue to work with our students in Cuba and our stakeholders to ensure that this process is completed in order to alleviate some of the challenges faced by the students as a result of the pandemic,” said Johnson Smith.

With the shipment now in the country, she said the process now moves to clearing the items through customs in Cuba.

She said the Jamaican Embassy in Havana will assist with this activity, including making arrangements for either the collection or delivery of the items by or to the medical students.

“The Ministry's one-off assistance to students materialised through consultations among a number of stakeholders including virtual meetings with the Diaspora, Protocol and Consular Affairs Division within the Ministry, the Jamaican Embassy in Cuba, parents, and student representatives located in Cuba and in Jamaica,” Johnson Smith explained.

The foreign affairs minister said the care packages were assembled based on a needs-list provided by students and included basic food items, toiletries, sanitary products, non-prescription medication and personal protective equipment such as masks, hand sanitisers and rubbing alcohol.

Johnson Smith expressed appreciation to the Cuban Government for its “overall generosity and commitment in relation to the scholarship programme as well as importation procedures to alleviate some of the challenges faced by students as a result of the pandemic, including the treatment of the recent shipment.”

She also thanked corporate partners GraceKennedy and the Seprod Foundation as well as the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service for their support.

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