Director-General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, yesterday received a quantity of equipment valued at $39,436,217 from the United States(U.S.) Department of Defense Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP). The equipment will be utilised to enhance the CDC’s Disaster Risk Management preparedness.
HAP is US-funded and is designed to develop infrastructure projects and professional improvement to mitigate, prepare, and manage natural disasters in accordance with Department of Defense guidelines to provide military humanitarian assistance at organizational, national, and regional levels, and help improve the Civil Defence and national emergency systems.
U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, handed over the items on behalf of HAP at a simple ceremony held at the CDC’s alternative Headquarters Warehouse, Timehri, East Bank Demerara.
Lieutenant Colonel Craig thanked Ambassador Lynch and the United States Embassy for the donation.
“The Government of Guyana and the Civil Defence Commission would like to thank the American Embassy for their continued support as the donation will aid the Commission in its Disaster Risk Management response,” he said.
Lieutenant Colonel Craig also gave Ambassador Lynch a guided tour of the facility.
The CDC was established in the year 1982 to make plans and conduct operations to deal with all types of disasters in Guyana. By 1985, a comprehensive National Disaster Preparedness Plan was documented and put into use. At the time of its establishment the Commission operated under the authority of the Office of the Prime Minister. Responsibility for the CDC was subsequently moved to the Office of the President in 1992.
In September 2001, Standard Operation Procedures for the National Emergency Operations Centre were upgraded to meet new challenges of the worsening domestic and international disaster situation. The CDC of Guyana is a full member of the Caribbean Disaster Emergence Management Agency (CDEMA).