The Guyana Civil Defence Commission has announced that the first shipment of relief items for St. Vincent will leave Port Georgetown tomorrow.
The CDC and the Private Sector Commission have been working closely together and in partnership with the Government in organising Guyana’s relief efforts for the sister CARICOM state.
Director-General of the Civil Defence Commission, Lt. Col Kester Craig told News Source that a vessel has already been acquired by the CDC to make the three-day trip with the relief supplies to St. Vincent.
He explained that the vessel has a capacity to ferry 300 tonnes and so far large quantities of rice, sugar, other food items and sanitary supplies have already been received and are being loaded.
“The vessel is docked and loading has commenced. We have the commitment of the Private Sector and supplies have already started to be delivered to the CDC and also at the wharf to meet that 300-tonne capacity. The vessel is controlled by the Government in terms of when it leaves and when it gets there, so we have the entire vessel to work with”, Lt. Col Craig stated.
The CDC Head a number of local companies have come forward with donations of much needed items that will make up the shipment.
According to Lt. Colonel Craig, based on the situation on the ground in St. Vincent, additional help will have to be provided. He said Guyana’s humanitarian efforts to assist the island will continue after the shipment leaves since additional shipments in the future are likely.
“What we are seeing now with what is happening in St. Vincent is that this is going to me a medium term response, and not a one week or two weeks, this is going to go on for weeks. So the first phase of response is to ensure people get food and shelter and that their safety is taken care of. So now we are focused on food and water and safety equipment and sanitation items and we are working with that and as the situation changes and additional requests are provided, we will work with that”, he stated.
Over the weekend, President Irfaan Ali met with the CDC and the PSC to streamline Guyana’s response to the tragedy in St. Vincent. The President has pledged his continuous support to the relief drive.
There are more than 4,000 Guyanese living in the island.