PM proud of private sector’s support for St Vincent relief shipment

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips said that he was proud of the effort made by the private sector to fill a vessel with several hundred tons of emergency items for the volcano-affect islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Guyana’s first shipment to its sister CARICOM nation is expected to leave our shores this evening.

Prior to the departure, the Prime Minister, who has been coordinating the relief efforts, visited the Muneshwer’s Wharf to oversee final arrangements.

“As Prime Minister, I am proud of our private sector and I’m proud of this effort, I know the people in St Vincent are resilient and their government has shown a lot of leadership throughout this disaster…we are happy that as a sister CARICOM country we are in a position to offer support in the shortest possible time”.

Over 300 tons of relief supplies have been loaded onto a private vessel (Ms Meena) and will set sail this evening for St Vincent.  The items, which should arrive within three days, include 100 tons of rice, over 20 tons of water a large quantity of sugar and several non-perishable food items.

On Saturday, less than 24 hours after the first eruption, His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali, Prime Minister Phillips and Vice President Dr Bharat Jagdeo met with members of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and the Private Sector Commission (PSC) to brainstorm the fastest way to get the items transported after air travel was suspended.  The private sector officials also informed the President of the pledges made by the business community. They then coordinated with the CDC to acquire the needed items.

According to the Director-General of the CDC, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, today’s shipment is only the first batch of assistance. He said that two other shipments should leave before the end of the week.  

“What we have here is the first shipment and in the storage facility we have additional items that will be transported on two additional vessels, one that should be leaving on Thursday and the other, either on Friday or Saturday.”    

Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Nicholas Deygoo-Boyer, said that in spite of financial challenges local businesses face at this time, they found it most fitting to contribute to the relief efforts. “Businesses, although they are a little cash strapped currently, saw the images of what was transpiring in St Vincent, felt moved by those images and the call for help by their Caribbean brothers and sisters and stepped up to donate”.