Gov’t doubles funds to hurricane-battered islands, to deploy assessment team


The Government of Guyana has doubled its donation for the country’s contribution to the hurricane relief efforts and will be dispatching a team to conduct a needs assessment of Guyanese nationals affected by Hurricane Irma in St Maarten and the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix – according to a statement from the Department of Public Information (DPI) – will lead a local needs assessment team which will comprise of officials from the Department of Citizenship, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Civil Defence Commission (CDC).

The team is tentatively scheduled to depart Guyana on September 16 and will return after conducting assessments in the specified areas.

Additionally, the statement noted that Guyana has also decided to double the initial contribution towards relief efforts from US$50,000 to US$100,000.

The Ministerial Task Force on the Caribbean Disaster on Thursday met with the Director General of the CDC, Col. (Rtd) Chabilall Ramsarup who provided an update on the initial plans for Guyana’s response, following a briefing from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials relating to the situation faced by Guyanese nationals in the various islands.

Following the three hour long meeting it was decided that Minister Felix will head a Guyana Needs Assessment Team that will travel to Tortola in the BVI and St Maarten via Antigua to conduct an initial assessment of the needs of Guyanese nationals on the islands and report to the Ministerial Task Force which was appointed by President David Granger and is chaired by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.

The Task Force also includes Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge, Minister of State Joseph Harmon, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson, Minister of Public Affairs, Dawn Hastings-Williams and Minister of Public Service Dr Rupert Roopnaraine.

DPI noted that during the meeting, Major General (Rtd) Joe Singh acted on behalf of Harmon who is currently out of the jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, hotlines have already been established for Guyanese who are seeking information about their loved ones in the hurricane-affected island states, even as the CDC is working with the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and other stakeholders to dispatch much-needed relief to the countries, which have undergone severe devastation.

Persons who have not yet heard from their relatives in any of the affected countries are invited to make inquiries via the hotline numbers: 226 1027, 226 1114, 226 1117, 600 7500 or 623 1700.


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