CDC to revamp distribution exercise

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, April 16, 2020

The National COVID-19 Task Force has decided to revamp the Civil Defence Commission’s nationwide distribution of relief hampers as the current situation in the country is expected to last longer than anticipated.

This was disclosed on Thursday by Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon. According to him, “the onetime distribution of items to some communities would not suffice.”

“Therefore, we asked that a pause be put on the distribution of hampers in the way it was going and allow the approximately 3,000 hampers in hand, to be distributed under some new guidelines,” he said after completing a walkthrough at CDC’s Thomas Lands headquarters.

Harmon explained that a new system would have to be implemented which identifies vulnerable persons. Lists were being used previously to determine the vulnerable among the population.

The government official added that the COVID-19 pandemic had created a larger pool of vulnerable persons in society. These include people who lost their livelihoods because of the restrictions on persons assembling, those who were dismissed from their jobs, and others who are at home and cannot move.

“We are putting in place arrangements that will facilitate the distribution of items and the distribution of cheques or food vouchers to allow for those persons to benefit from it,” Harmon said.

He disclosed that a database was created which will allow persons who are affected to register. Persons who consider themselves vulnerable will be added to the database and would be vetted to see if they meet the criteria.

The Director-General also congratulated the CDC for the work it has done so far to mobilise relief for those affected by COVID-19 and expressed satisfaction with the response and support received from the private sector.

The CDC, through it’s National Emergency Operations Centre, started the hamper distribution on April 5 and has completed the exercise in several vulnerable communities in Regions 3,4,5, 6, and 10.