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Guyana did not refuse Trinidad flood relief – President Ali

Last Updated on Friday, 25 June 2021, 11:59 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali

President Irfaan Ali on Friday rejected reports that Guyana has rejected an offer of flood relief by Trinidad and Tobago.

“That’s absolutely not true,” he told Demerara Waves Online News/ News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM.

In an invited comment on a Trinidad Guardian report, the President explained that Guyana told its sister-Caribbean Community member states that it does not need food because “We have that covered.”

The President said the Guyana government has accepted the offer of pumps and Trinidad has asked for the specifications.

He said the Foreign Ministry has since dispatched the specifications for the pumps.

The Trinidad Guardian has quoted from a letter signed by Guyanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Hilton Todd dated June 18, 2021, directed to his counterpart in T&T which stated that they needed pumps to remove excess water, but nothing else on the consignment list they provided to Caricom.

Todd, in the letter, expressed “the sincere gratitude” of the Guyanese people in “the face of the severe flooding affected regions on Guyana” but added that “I wish to advise that the critical items at this time is for pumps to meet the urgent demand for enhanced drainage capacity.”

Starnieuws reports that Trinidad and Tobago has flown in garbage bags, baby food, face masks, long boots, mosquito nets, tarpaulins, cots and rechargeable battery-powered lamps, to flood-stricken neighbouring Suriname.

The  Suriname government has reportedly said that additional relief supplies such as water, hand sanitizer and water tanks will be provided and shipped by sea later in the week by Trinidad and Tobago.

Guyana has declared a limited emergency that paves the way for regional and international aid.

The European Union and Canada have since provided cash assistance to the Civil  Defence Commission.

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and a number of United Nations agencies are spearheading assessments for immediate and long-term recovery efforts.