Guyanese nationals to be evacuated by weekend – Min. Greenidge

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By Devina Samaroo

With talks already underway with commercial airlines, scores of Guyanese living in islands which were ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria will finally be able to return to their homeland by the weekend.

Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge on Wednesday said the government can no longer wait on precise numbers to commence the evacuation process.

“When the Foreign Affairs Ministry first received information from those who are affected, it was essentially from the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the numbers were in excess of 50 and less than 100,” he explained, noting however that government subsequently received a different figure.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge

“Since it’s an evacuation, it means that it’s urgent and so we can’t wait two years to determine what the precise numbers (are),” he explained when asked by News Room on the sidelines of an event at State House.

Meanwhile, Greenidge said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in discussion with regional carrier, Caribbean Airlines. He said the government is talking with other carriers and will soon make a decision on how it will evacuate the Guyanese nationals.

It has been weeks since hundreds of persons, including Guyanese, have been suffering after hurricanes Irma and Maria caused massive destruction on the Caribbean islands which they reside.

Without food and water and proper shelter, many Guyanese nationals have pleaded with the Guyana Government to put systems in place to bring them back home. However, the government faced challenges in figuring out exactly how much Guyanese are requesting evacuation.

So far, the numbers still remain unclear but as indicated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the government can wait no longer.  Other countries have already evacuated their nationals from the hurricane-hit countries but as for those who remain on the wrecked islands, the suffering continues.

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