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Published:Tuesday | January 19, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Chavez to send more humanitarian brigades

Venezuela, (CMC):

President Hugo Chavez announced Sunday that there would be new humanitarian brigades going to Haiti soon to help that country, shaken by last Tuesday's magnitude-7.0 earthquake.

"Venezuela is at Haiti's disposal. There are already two humanitarian brigades in the land of Alexander Petion and others will leave Venezuela soon," Chavez said.

He recalled that Caracas launched the Campaign of Solidarity with Haiti and the Venezuelan people are responding as they know how to.

"History is calling us to go to Haiti," Chavez said, adding that he had the heroic and long-suffering Haitian people in his soul, with their infinite love and its great hope.

He recalled that the power of love and hope made him run through the streets of Port-au-Prince in March 2007, and he felt like he was among his brothers and sisters.

"For Petion and Simon Bolivar, it is our turn to pay a historical debt," the Venezuelan leader said.

T&T's ODPM to coordinate response

Trinidad, CMC

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) has been given the task of coordinating Trinidad and Tobago's relief effort in terms of cash, goods and services for Haiti which was hit by a massive earthquake last week.

At a news conference on Saturday, ODPM's Chief Executive Officer Colonel George Robinson said that cash collected would be forwarded to the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

Robinson said goods and services to be offered by Trinidad and Tobago would go to Jamaica and be channelled to Haiti through the Caribbean Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU).

He said the ODPM was determined to make the collection of cash and goods "orderly, transparent and efficient," and would partner with non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the local government corporations in the relief effort.

Robinson listed potable water, medical supplies, canned goods and other non-perishables at the top of the list of urgently needed items.

Meantime, Prime Minister Patrick Manning will fly to the Dominican Republic on Monday to meet European Union leaders and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads to discuss how Haiti can be helped.

Last Tuesday's magnitude-7.0 earthquake caused extensive damage and tens of thousands of casualties in the CARICOM-member country.