Foreign Ministry gearing up to aid hurricane-hit islands – Greenidge

-communication with Guyanese communities badly affected

While Guyana is preparing to render assistance through CARICOM for islands ravaged last week by Hurricane Irma, disrupted communication has left government cut off from its representatives in the various territories.

As a consequence of the communication lag, direct relief efforts for the Guyanese in the islands ravaged by the Category 5 hurricane will have to wait.

“We are trying to collect information from the relevant authorities as to the situation of Guyanese in the relevant places and what help they may need from the Government of Guyana,”  Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, told Stabroek News yesterday when contacted.

He explained that on Saturday, Caribbean Heads had a teleconference to discuss and plan relief efforts in wake of Hurricane Irma.

But the magnitude of the impact of the storm not only left people needing help but those usually charged with coordinating such help with no means of communication.

“Caribbean Heads had a teleconference yesterday and they got an update as to where things were as at yesterday. At that time there were still massive gaps in information regarding practically everywhere else except Antigua and Barbuda. As regards St Maarten and the other rest of the islands there has been no other information,” Greenidge said.

The Foreign Affairs Minister explained that this country is on standby to provide much needed assistance to the hurricane ravaged islands though Caribbean Community initiatives, but government will also be providing direct assistance as soon as it obtains detailed information.

“We are trying to collect information from the relevant authorities as to the situation of Guyanese in the relevant places and what help they may need from the Government of Guyana. We have not gotten a comprehensive picture of that yet. Yesterday when the heads met, they themselves did not have a comprehensive picture of what was needed across the region,” Greenidge explained…..


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