Red Cross plans to issue building material vouchers

THE HAGUE–The Red Cross will be issuing construction material vouchers in a few weeks to a number of people in St. Maarten who are in dire need.

A spokesperson for the Netherlands Red Cross confirmed on Friday that the relief organisation is planning the distribution of vouchers for hardware stores. The details of this programme are still being worked out, as it entails coordination with the hardware stores and the local Government.
The Red Cross needs to make sure that the hardware stores have sufficient supplies available when the distribution of the vouchers starts. Also, a selection process has to take place so the vouchers go to those persons who require assistance and do not have the financial means to purchase building materials.
The construction material voucher programme is the second initiative by means of vouchers aimed at assisting the most needy, vulnerable groups in society, including the elderly and single mothers. In consultation with the local Government, the organisation has already distributed supermarket vouchers the people can use to buy their own choice of products.
The Netherlands Red Cross and its colleagues of the St. Maarten Red Cross have been providing assistance on the island since the hurricane, going into the districts to help people and to distribute mostly water, food and tarpaulins. In the first instance it concerned emergency assistance, which has gradually transformed into the recovery phase.
When the schools in St. Maarten re-opened early October, the Red Cross started a school meal programme for the children, some 4,000 in total. The meals, some 8,000 a day, are being prepared in the large kitchen at Sundial School with the help of volunteers and are brought to the schools in vans.
The children receive a cold breakfast with sandwiches and/or cereal, a piece of fruit and a beverage in the morning. For three weeks the children have been receiving a warm meal for lunch after the necessary large-size equipment to store and prepare the food was brought in. The school meal programme will last until the end of January.
The Red Cross collection drive in the Netherlands, which started in September, has generated more than 16.3 million euros so far. The Netherlands Red Cross anticipates that it will remain active in St. Maarten for many more months to assist the island with its recovery.

Source: The Daily Herald