President Dr Irfaan Ali said support for CARICOM’s sister nation, St Vincent and the Grenadines, will be ongoing.
The Head of State said Guyana is currently moving a few hundred tonnes of requested items that will soon be shipped.
“This will be ongoing support. What St Vincent goes through will not be a one-off event. All weekend we have been working on moving with the private sector … the First Minister (Brigadier, Ret’d, Mark Phillips) himself is looking at this. We’re trying to get at least 350 tonnes of items – that’s what the ship can take, ”explained President Ali, noting that during the week, more items will be shipped to the island.
The President made this pronunciation earlier today following the swearing-in ceremony for the eight-member Local Government Commission in the President’s Office.
He said the items were in line with a list the country would have delivered to Guyana as part of their emergency needs.
“We’ve added a lot of food items to that – rice, sugar, beans… cleaning materials, personal protective equipment, masks. Here are some of the things they would have asked for. “
President Ali said a request had also been made for black tanks to store water.
“We are now moving the black tanks, and that will go later this week. So as you would appreciate, the biggest difficulty is the logistics in this. But we have had tremendous goodwill from the private sector. ”
As he was concerned with the possibility of offering the option of temporary relocation to distressed people, President Ali said there had been no bid along that line so far.
“That issue has not been presented to us. For example, the Guyanese who live there – we are in contact with the Honorary Counsel. I know that the Vice President (Dr Bharrat Jagdeo) himself had a lot of conversations over the weekend, and as far as we were advised, they are all safe – most of them are in the green zone ( safe area); and no request was made. ”
St Vincent is addressing the effects of the Soufrière volcano eruption, which has severely displaced its inhabitants.
On April 10, President Ali called an urgent meeting with the Civil Defense Commission (CDC) and members of the Private Sector Commission to discuss Guyana’s humanitarian assistance to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
At the meeting, the President underlined the importance of getting emergency items, including water and food, to St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the fastest possible time.