Foreign Secretary lauds CDC, private sector response to St Vincent volcano
Foreign Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation, Mr. Robert Persaud has commended the quick response of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and the Private Sector to mobilise disaster relief supplies for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Mr. Persaud made this statement on Monday during a simple ceremony at the Muneshwers Wharf where Japarts donated a quantity of supplies to the relief efforts.
On Saturday, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali convened a meeting with Prime Minister, Hon. Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, Vice President, Hon. Dr Bharat Jagdeo, state entities and the private sector to determine how best to support the imperilled island-nation.
“Since that meeting, you’ve seen a quick coordinated response and I want to thank the business community for stepping up and helping our brothers and sisters in St Vincent and Grenadines. You know, our sister CARICOM state, they are in a current state of distress, and it is our obligation or duty to help and support,” he said.
Minister Persaud said there are approximately 4,000 Guyanese living in St Vincent, some of whom reside in the red zone.
“Today, we’ve established two hotlines – one in St Vincent and the Grenadines with our Honorary Consul, as well as one right here in Guyana; hotline as well as email, whatever means of communication even Facebook, using social media, where they can be in touch with us and to reach out to us…
We are also in touch with the St Vincent and the Grenadines authority. We do hope that this will reach the wide affected population, including Guyanese living there.”
In an invited commented, CDC, Director-General Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig said the response over the last 36 hours has been “remarkable.”
“This is the first time in a very long time I’ve seen public-private partnership and the corporate social responsibilities by all the private sector agencies, working so quickly to amass a large supply of live items to be distributed to our brothers and sisters in the St Vincent and the Grenadines,” he said.
In a statement earlier Monday, President Ali had given assurances that the support to St Vincent and the Grenadines would be continuous.
La Soufrière volcano first erupted on Friday, forcing some 16,000 people out of their homes.