PNCR’s Response to the Guyana Flood Situation I.




From: The General Secretary, People’s National Congress Reform

To: All Party Overseas Groups

Matter: The PNCR’s Response to the Guyana Flood Situation



1.

As you are aware, the Guyana coastlands have been inundated by exceptional torrential rains which have flooded Georgetown and more seriously the East and West Coast of Demerara;
2.

PNCR has been and is in the forefront of relief effort. We have been taking relief to the various Communities around the country. Our relief centre has set up headquarters at the HBTV Channel 9 in Georgetown and we have been distributing hot meals, dry rations, clothing, providing water, rescue of shut-ins and sick persons and proving moral support and leadership at the community level;
3.

The Leader of the PNCR, Cde Robert Corbin has been in the forefront of the relief effort and in spurring the government to take action when it has been dilatory and indecisive in the face of the crisis;
4.

The Leader has been in the field leading his team assessing the situation and spearheading the relief efforts;
5.

The PNCR relief efforts have been facilitated by the generosity and goodwill of several persons and organizations who have been contributing to this effort in cash and kind. We have also been greatly assisted by a large number of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers from within and without the party;
6.

The PNC Reform has offered full support to government in this time
and placed its organisation and personnel to the National Effort. We will continue to do so. Several persons were named to serve on the five task forces to help but apart from the Health task force there has been little use of experts and resource persons from the community or leaders provided by the PNCR;
7.

The Government was first reluctant to acknowledge that there was a crisis, refused initial international offers of aid, allocated a miserly G$20M. and refused to set up a proper professional Disaster Management Task force as advised by the Opposition Leader;
8.

Mr. Corbin had advised at the first meeting with the President that that such a task force should involve all key agencies, private sector, NGOs and Competent and skilled Guyanese who could contribute to the crisis. Regrettably, most of these
persons are not involved in the National effort and have had to either beg their way in or initiate relief activities on their own;
9.

The result is that there is political control from State House of the disaster effort with consequential discrimination in the dispensing of aid to affected communities. There is also lack of co-ordination and many communities are experiencing severe difficulty in getting access to the resources being rationed by the state;
10.

A Joint Operation Committee (JOC) was eventually established, to with, an Army Colonel in Charge but despite the fact they have the special capability to respond to the needs of this crisis, they are unable to function properly as they have to await directives from the PPP/C political directorate before taking urgent action;
11.

The PNCR will continue its efforts to bring relief to suffering people who need their help. All Guyanese are asked to support the work of the NGOs in
Guyana rather than contribute to any state fund which is being politically managed. The PNCR has its own relief fund and we are asking for support to carry out our efforts. We can be contacted at our crisis management centre 592-226-1980, 592-624-7370, 592-624-6764 or 592-642-0532 or through our email addresses pnc_reform@hotmail.com, peoples_national_congress@yahoo.com, rhoc50@yahoo.com or rhoc50@hotmail.com
12.

We urge overseas groups to keep their members informed as to what is happening at home. We will be issuing regular bulletins to update you on developments. It is important that our overseas groups initiate fund raising activities and other support for the flood relief efforts of the Party in Guyana. We will advise you later of our special PNCR flood relief account.

General Secretary
People’s National Congress Reform