PM Gonsalves hails Guyana as ‘head cornerstone in CARICOM’ as relief items arrive in St. Vincent
Guyana’s first shipment of 350 tonnes of disaster relief items for the volcano ravaged St. Vincent and the Grenadines, arrived on the Caribbean Island Saturday morning.
Led by Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, a party of government officials were on site to witness the arrival of the items which will immediately go towards supporting persons in shelters.
Also there was Guyana’s Consul General, Nigel Russell, with staff from the Guyana Consulate in St. Vincent. A highly appreciative Gonsalves said it was a “significant shipment… a big donation.”
Another shipment of relief items from Guyana is expected to arrive on the Island sometime next week.
Referring to biblical teachings, the Prime Minister hailed Guyana as the head cornerstone in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
“I used to always say in the day when things were a little difficult in Guyana that they would be the head cornerstone in CARICOM… it is almost like biblical prophecy being fulfilled,” the Prime Minister said.
PM Gonsalves also thanked President Irfaan Ali personally, referring to him as a “good Samaritan.”
“I thank the Government of Guyana from the bottom of my heart and my friend President Irfaan Ali. He has a good heart and I want to say that with his renewed bond of friendship… one cannot help but remember about the good Samarian,” he added.
Gonsalves said Guyana’s pledge of continuous support in coming months is welcomed as St. Vincent also prepares for the upcoming hurricane season.
“We will build back stronger,” he said.
In an interview with the News Room on Friday, Consul General Russell explained that the bulk of the relief items in the first shipment will go to the government of St Vincent to help them bring relief to persons in shelters across the country, while two crates of requested items will go directly to his office to assist persons on the ground.
Russell and his team at the Consulate, along with volunteers, have been working over the last week to register Guyanese and set up distribution points. He pointed out that with no ventilators on the island for asthmatic persons affected by the haziness of the continuous falling of ash, Guyana is slated to send ventilators there in another shipment expected within the next two weeks.
The island, which has experienced several eruptions at the La Soufrière volcano in the last seven days, is still dealing with the effects of fallen ash.
The La Soufriere Volcano remains active; it began to explosively erupt last Friday and for the last seven days, periodic eruptions have covered the island in ash and volcanic flows of molten rock and gas have gushed down the mountainside.