International News in Brief: Denmark to aid US Virgin Islands in wake of hurricane destruction
The Danish Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, has pledged to give aid to the US Virgin Islands after several hurricanes have wreaked havoc in the former Danish colony in recent weeks.
Rasmussen reportedly penned a letter to the governor of the US Virgin Islands, Kenneth Mapp, indicating that Denmark was prepared to offer help in wake of the destruction left behind by the two hurricanes Irma and Jose.
The Danish authorities have already been in contact with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, to look into which areas Denmark could best be of help.
“It’s with great sorrow that I’ve seen images of people in need of help, destroyed houses and damaged buildings on the same beautiful islands that my wife and I visited just six months ago. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families during these difficult times,” Rasmussen wrote to Mapp, according to Metroxpress newspaper.
It’s not certain that the beleaguered islands will see much of a let up in the near future, however. A new hurricane, Maria, is currently gaining momentum in the area.
The Caribbean islands were Danish territory – the Danish West Indies – until 1917, when the Danes sold them to the US for 25 million dollars.
A Danish marine lost his life yesterday afternoon following an accident aboard the Danish warship, Absalon. The soldier got his head caught in between a hatch and a hatch-cover and received serious injuries. A marine helicopter was called in, but the soldier was pronounced dead by a doctor when it arrived. The ship was taking part in the Northern Coast exercise just north of Bornholm when the accident happened.
Stronger in Sahel
The government has decided to further strengthen Danish efforts in the west-African region of Sahel in a bid to counter terrorism and migration to Europe. Denmark will contribute 7.5 million kroner to a new G5 joint force in the area. The joint force consists of forces from the five nations Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mauritania.
UN Assembly plans
A number of Danish ministers, including foreign minister Anders Samuelsen, development minister Ulla Tørnæs, and equality and Nordic co-operation minister, Karen Ellemann, will all take part in the upcoming UN General Assembly on September 19. The ministers will work to put the focus on Danish and international priorities within their respective areas and look into how Denmark can actively contribute to international co-operation.