Two weeks after promising swift and robust action to earthquake-ravaged Haiti, there are still no funds in a humanitarian account established at Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited by the Government of Guyana in the name of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC).
Persons, especially those in the business community, were asked to make contributions to the account so that Guyana can make good on the promise of Dr. Irfaan Ali to combine energies and resources to meet this latest humanitarian challenge.
After an entire week of enquiries, the News Room was able to confirm on Friday that no contributions were made to the account (96235619938) as of Thursday, August 26, 2021.
A second independent account was established at the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) is said to have just under $1 million.
When contacted on Friday, Director General of the CDC, Lieutenant-Colonel Kester Craig did not wish to offer a comment on the balance in the government fund.
He, however, used the opportunity to encourage the Guyanese public to continue to contribute to the fund so that Guyana can assist its sister Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.
According to Craig, Haiti prefers to receive cash donations in order to procure the needed relief items and through and already established international procurement process.
Craig said Guyana continues to work directly with Haiti and through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CEDEMA). Haiti has indicated that among its needs are tarpaulins, tents, health care supplies, food and water.
Already, the government of Belize has made a contribution of BZ$200,000 to Haiti through the bank account set up by CDEMA for relief efforts.
In addition, the UN launched a Flash Appeal for Haiti, requesting more than $187 million and USAID Administrator Samantha Power visited the affected communities in southwestern Haiti, announcing $32 million in humanitarian assistance in response to the earthquake.
According to the latest report released by CEDEMA on August 26, 2021, there are a total of 2, 207 persons reported dead, 12, 268 injured and 320 missing. Some 52,953 houses were destroyed and 77,006 houses damaged in the three most affected areas.
The 7.2 magnitude earthquake was recorded on August 14 in the southern region of the country. Since then, at least 600 aftershocks have been detected in the southern region, according to scientists in Haiti.