2005-02-10 / Top Stories

Sen. Schumer Urges Emergency Aid To Flooded Guyana

New York’s senior U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer has urged that the United States Agency for International Development do everything possible to ensure that essential emergency relief items are receive by victims of the Guyana flooding disaster immediately.

The floods, caused by torrential rains, killed at least six people and affected nearly 300,000—almost one-quarter of the population. The worst areas were the capital, Georgetown, and surrounding areas that have been declared disaster zones by the government.

“Tens of thousands of people have lost homes and livelihoods because of the severe flooding in Guyana. The focus must now be to ensure that those affected, particularly children, have access to food, shelter, supplies and medicines to stop the situation from getting worse,” Schumer said.

USAID has been working very closely with the government of Guyana to provide aid to flood victims, and as of January 28, USAID has provided a total of $447,012 in emergency relief assistance. In his letter to Andrew S. Natsios of USAID, Schumer thanked them for their tireless efforts and the humanitarian assistance to Guyana they had provided over the last several weeks.

Schumer noted that The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guyana had informed his office that numerous items are desperately needed in the administrative regions of West Demerara/Essequibo Islands, Denierara/Mahaica, and Mahaica/West Berbice. These supplies include drainage/irrigation mobile pumps; 4x4 trucks; generators; inflatable dingys; small flat bottom aluminum boats; retractable bridges; food; forklifts; outboard engines; wet weather wear; shelter goods; and plastic high capacity water tanks as well as smaller containers for carrying water.

Since officials are worried that contaminated water, insects and rodents could spread fatal diseases, Schumer requested that these emergency supplies be provided to the flood victims as soon as possible.

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