• Govt must tap treasury to help natural disaster victims at home – Jagdeo

    first_imgOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has said his party is in full support of Government’s commitment to assist in a technical manner those ravaged by Hurricane Irma –the strongest such weather phenomenon to batter the islands in the Caribbean Sea – but at the same time, the Administration must not lose sight of the people of Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), who would have also suffered atOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeothe hands of recent natural disasters.Addressing members of the local press corps at his Church Street, Georgetown office on Thursday, the Oposition Leader said: “Guyana should do all it can to help the victims of this devastating natural event,” even as he reminded of the assistance provided to Haiti when it suffered from a massive earthquake that completely destroyed sections of that island’s infrastructure.On that occasion, Guyana was recognised as the biggest contributor to the relief efforts on a per capita basis.On Thursday, Jagdeo was adamant: “We also at home must do the same, so I call on the Government once again to assist the people in Region Eight in particular, because of the remote nature of that region, the devastation with which they suffered, and the loss of infrastructure and crops and livestock and housing stocks.”The Opposition Leader said the recent ravages to affect the remote administrative region will have an adverse impact, and not just in the short term. In fact, Jagdeo said the opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) is in fact supportive of the Government going to the National Assembly in order to secure additional financial resources to affect those affected locally.“We have asked the Government to come to Parliament to seek more supplementary funds that we will support, so that they can continue to support those communities for a while in the future… If they do not, then we will have people in our own country suffering because of lack of help.”He used the opportunity to lash out at the position adopted by Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan when he was questioned on the relief efforts envisaged by Government. Bulkan at the time had ruled out the topic of compensation being offered to the victims.Jagdeo was adamant that the views of the minister and that of the citizenry did not coincide, since he said, “Our people want help extended to Guyanese, and to foreigners and people around the Caribbean wherever people suffer these consequences.”He did seek to make it clear that the PPP/C is supportive of all national efforts to support those affected by the ongoing hurricanes in the Atlantic belt. The Opposition Leader did use the occasion to speak to the need for Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries to take a bigger role in voicing demands over the effects of Climate Change and mitigation efforts.Speaking to the recent challenges, Jagdeo said there has been observed systemic losses where housing stocks in some of the small islands have been damaged, and the fact that it will take a long time for those islands most affected to rebuild.“Science has been on the side that (says) increasingly, we are going to see the impact of these weather-related incidents on vulnerable regions of the world because of climate change.”Named ‘Champion of the Earth’ in 2009, Jagdeo said, ‘We have to collectively strengthen our fight to ensure that the progress made in this regard to mitigate some of these consequences, to make sure the progress is not lost because of narrow-minded global policies at this time.”He was adamant this is a position that should be held high by the Caribbean States and their leaders, saying, “The issue of the impact of climate change has to become the priority of the region, because of its potential for devastation.”According to Jagdeo, “Our regional governments have to be at the forefront of advocacy. That is a priority for all of us and our foreign policies.”last_img

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