– will support rebuilding process following volcanic eruptions, says President Ali
By Richard Bhainie
WITH St. Vincent and the Grenadines severely impacted by the eruptions of La Soufrière Volcano and to a lesser extent Barbados, President, Dr. Irfaan Ali said Guyana remains a solid friend in their time of need.
The President gave the commitment during a commendation ceremony of the third shipment of relief supplies loaded on the motor vessel (MV) Lady Fazeela at Muneshwer’s Wharf, Georgetown, on Monday.
“Guyana understands our responsibility to CARICOM, we understand our role in CARICOM and I want to assure Prime Minister Mottley and Prime Minister Gonsalves that not only are we with them in this immediate term, but we are with them throughout the process of rebuilding – not only the physical infrastructure, but rebuilding the lives that would have been affected,” President Ali said.
The vessel expected to leave today will make its first stop in Barbados which has been affected by ash fall, before journeying to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It is loaded with 275 tonnes of emergency supplies, which includes bottled water, water tanks, food supplies, and other necessities.
The President praised the cohesive efforts mustered by Guyanese from all walks of life and who have contributed to assisting with the relief missions bound for the Caribbean islands, an effort which vibrantly displays the rewards of collaboration and co-operation.
“This really tells us how much we can achieve when we come together; government, agencies of government, the private sector, with all of us working together there are no barriers that can stop us from achieving what we plan to achieve,” President Ali noted.
He urged however that it must not only be in times of need that cohesion is mobilised, and charged that the same spirit of working together displayed during times of disaster be engrained in Guyanese culture, which will inevitably be a catalyst in the building of Guyana and the CARICOM region at large.
The President commended the Private Sector Commission (PSC), which he contended has proven its ability time and time again to rise to challenges.
“This tells a story that built in institutionally in our local private sector is a strong commitment to their social responsibility and I think for that as a nation, for that as a government, we ought to be very, very proud,” he said.
He also lauded the Prime Minister, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and other contributors, including the proprietors of the vessels which transported the relief supplies, for their support in the initiative, which was done in a selfless manner.
“This is what Guyana must be known for, the collection of people ready to serve at any time, ready to answer the call of humanity at any time, these are traits of Guyana, we are loving people, we are caring people, we are sharing people, we are committed people,” President Ali said.
“For this I am most proud, for this we can all have great satisfaction that in the true spirit of Guyana, in the true spirit of being Guyanese, we are doing our part to help member states of our Region as they too do their part in helping us in our times of need,” he added.
On Saturday last the first shipment of relief supplies from Guyana was welcomed by Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, which arrived on board the MV Miss Meena.
While thanking the Government of Guyana and President, Dr. Irfaan Ali for the relief, the Vincentian prime minister said, “I want to say that with the renewed bond of friendship, and this act of solidarity, one cannot help but remember in the Bible the story of the Good Samaritan.”
On Thursday last, a 20-foot container packed with cases of water left on a Tropical Shipping vessel which departed Guyana destined for St. Vincent and the Grenadines intended to supplement the emergency supplies.
Earlier on Monday the Guyana Chronicle caught up with one of the contributors to the mission, Managing-Director of Palm Court, Navin Prashad, who on behalf of Palm Court donated 576 cases of drinking water to the cause, and pledged the business’s commitment to render support in the future.
“It is our social responsibility to assist in any way possible. I would like to commend the Government of Guyana and the business community for their unwavering support and solidarity towards our CARICOM brothers and sisters,” he said.