Govt recognizes companies for contributions to hurricane relief aid

DPI, GUYANA, Friday, June 29, 2018

The Government of Guyana through the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) today honoured 88 private and public-sector agencies for their invaluable contributions to the relief efforts during the 2017 Caribbean hurricane season that left several Caribbean countries in devastation.

Representatives from the various agencies accepted awards of appreciation, which were handed over by Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, who lauded the private sector for their collaboration with government in these relief efforts.

Minister Felix acknowledged that disaster preparedness and response require the input of the private sector and called for a closer relationship, which can develop into a “strong fighting machine” that will ensure the safety of Guyanese and other citizens of sister nations.

Guyana’s response in the aftermath of hurricanes Maria, Irma and Jose, Minister Felix said, demonstrated to the world that government, with the assistance of the private sector, is willing to go anywhere to bring relief to those in dire need.

Disaster impacts on the Caribbean region, as a whole for the period 1990 to 2008, according to the Association of Caribbean States, amounts to an estimated US$160Billion with the economic impact hovering around US$63Billion.

In light of this, Director General (ag), CDC, Lt. Col. Kester Craig emphasised that the region must remain vigilant, prepared and responsive to any likelihood of impacts.

“The mobilisation of resources is key to successful disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. To achieve and mobilise resources, all stakeholders including the private sector must collaboratively make and honour contributions,” he said.

Lt. Col. Craig noted that over the last few decades, despite enhanced national systems coupled with mitigation efforts, Guyana has still been severely affected by floods and droughts.

In this regard, he underscored the role of the private sector during the response and recovery phases. “The CDC and the Government of Guyana and more particularly the people of Guyana owe their gratitude to the monumental support that the private sector has provided whether through in-kind, technical resources or monetary contributions.”

The CDC and the Government, Craig said, recognise that in an effort to enhance national systems for response and to better manage disasters, it is imperative to meaningfully strengthen the government-private partnership.

The private sector, he said, will be engaged meaningfully throughout all phases of the disaster risk management.

Cognisant of the effects of natural disasters, Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Desmond Sears said every citizen has a duty to protect and maintain the environment.

“We need to vehemently embrace and adopt climate-smart techniques,” he noted while committing to the PSC’s continued support to ensure the livelihood of Guyanese and citizens of sister nations in times of distress.

Agencies presented with awards include Bravo Arts, the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), the PSC, Nand Persaud and Company Limited, Digicel, Trans Guyana Airways, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), John Fernandes Limited, NAMILCO, Tropical Shipping, Guyana National Industrial Company (GNIC), Globe Manufacturing, GAICO Construction and General Services Inc., the Discount Store, David Persaud Investment and Banks DIH Limited.

By: Stacy Carmichael.