President Dr Irfaan Ali, Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips and Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo held an emergency meeting with members of the Civil Defense Commission (CDC) and the Private Sector to coordinate an emergency response to helping sister CARICOM nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
President Ali had assured his colleague St Vincent’s State by telephone on Thursday of Guyana’s full and unwavering support during this crisis.
The Caribbean nation is addressing the effects of the La Soufrière volcano eruption, which has severely displaced its inhabitants, including large numbers of Guyanese.
The SVG government has sent a list of urgent items needed and a national mobilization effort has been launched to assist the island state.
In a post on his social media page, President Ali said Guyana is aiming to send relief items over the next 48 hours.
The team that met with the President this afternoon threw out ideas about the fastest possible route to the islands, as flight was banned.
President Ali said getting the items off was extremely important and urged attendees to put all systems in place to make them in the fastest possible time.
This emergency response is expected to be the first of many Guyana.
In addition, a Disaster Relief Fund has been set up at the GBTI bank to help the Caribbean island. The GBTI account is called ST. VINCENT DISCUSSION FUND and account number is 011803403012.
Items needed include: 1000 water tanks (800 and 1000 gallons), 5000 buckets (5 gallons), 10,000 folding cages, 150 portable toilets, 30,000 blankets plus 50 field tents (20 feet x 20 feet) and (910 feet x 10 feet).
In addition, two field kitchens, 3000 sleeping mats, 1000 breathable masks with filters, 25,000 goggles, 2000 reflective vests, 100 warning tapes (100 ft roll), and 10,000 hygiene kits are required.
During an update on NBC Radio in St Vincent and the Grenadines on Saturday morning, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves expressed his appreciation for Guyana.