“Guyana understands our responsibility to CARICOM, we understand our role in CARICOM and I want to assure PM [Mia] Mottley and PM [Ralph] Gonsalves that not only are we with them in this immediate term, but we are with them throughout the process of rebuilding not only the physical infrastructure but rebuilding the lives that would have been affected.”

These were the sentiments expressed yesterday, by Guyana’s President, Dr Irfaan Ali, during an inspection of the third shipment of aid to volcano-affected residents of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

President Ali extended gratitude to the business community, which he said has shown on many occasions, that it can rise to different challenges and that it is committed to not only the development of Guyana but the region as a whole.

“I think in CARICOM itself there should be great recognition for the tremendous work of Guyana’s Private Sector in mobilising resources.”

He noted that the Private Sector’s consistent actions and positive response show its commitment to fulfilling its corporate social responsibility, which he said Guyana should be very proud of.
President Ali also thanked Prime Minister Phillips, members of the Government and the Civil Defence Commission for their “tremendous leaderships and work day-after-day”.

The President also extended gratitude to the owners and operators of the two ships—Miss Meena and Lady Fazeela—for allowing the use of the vessels in getting the critical food, water supplies and protective equipment to the islands.

“So today, at this very simple setting, I just want to thank all of you, I want to thank the men and the women in our Army, in our Coast Guard. We have officers who went on the last vessel and will be going on this vessel also. We have officers on standby who are waiting to assist should the need arrive, should the request be made. And I must say this to you, to all those who would have contributed; when we called upon them, there were no questions as to what payment is there, what reward is there. In a selfless manner everyone came forward; from the owners of the vessels, the private sector officials in government, army officials, Mr Musneshwer and his staff who also helped tremendously.”

President Ali added that the collected efforts and unity shown thus far should be synonymous with what it means to be Guyanese.

“This is how we have to operate, this is what Guyana must be known for—a collection of people ready to serve at any time, ready to answer the call of humanity at any time. These are the traits of Guyanese—we are a loving people, we are a caring people, we are a sharing people and we are a committed people, and for this I am most proud.”

The Soufrière volcano first erupted on Friday, April 9, with several other eruptions since.  Residents are significantly affected and many have been displaced.


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