The Guyana National Committee for Relief for Haiti, which was established following a meeting held with President Bharrat Jagdeo and a wide-cross section of interest groups, today received $500,000 from the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA).
The cheque was presented to chairperson of the committee, Minister of Human Services and Social Security Priya Manickchand by President of the Association, Norman McLean.
Executive Director of the Association, Edward Shields also made a personal contribution of $50,000. BK International has promised to use one of its ships to ferry supplies to the devastated country.
Minister Manickchand said the committee is pleased to receive the contribution and was especially heartened by the very small donations from some persons.
"I'm convinced that these people are giving all they can afford but I also believe that persons can be much swifter in their reaction," Manickchand stated.
She added that Guyana's initial response of US$1M is now being matched by countries such as Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean nations with limited resources.
Manickchand noted that the destruction in Haiti is on a massive scale and so warrants a wide range of assistance. A team from Guyana is also expected to be deployed to Haiti once the type of support required is made clear.
The telethon held at the National Communications Network (NCN) has since netted $8.7M and another will be held tonight.
"We are encouraging all those who want to contribute to call us regardless of how small the donation is. The Little Rock TV station in Berbice will also have a telethon so you can come in to the CDC which opens all day."
The chairperson reiterated the committee's commitment to transparency and stressed that funds are not being spent on management expenses.
The committee is also in the process of establishing a website and will announce the address very soon. The website will provide vital updates on the amount of cash garnered and details of its distribution.
McLean stated that the Association attempted to make the contribution during the telethon last evening but could not connect to the telephone lines.
He noted that this is a positive sign of the overwhelming response of Guyanese to the plight of Haitians.
The GGDMA said other pledges include $500,000 worth of oil from the Pomeroon Oil Mill and $500,000 worth in pharmaceuticals from the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (GPC).
Past President of the GGDMA, Alphro Alphonso is also among those who made similar pledges as well as Omai and Terry Singh from Japarts.
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake tore through the capital of the already impoverished nation of Haiti, killing thousands and leaving irreparable damage in its wake.
Telethon for Haiti nets $8.7M - activity continues
Georgetown, GINA, January 15, 2010
The telethon hosted by the National Committee for Relief for earthquake devastated Haiti held on Thursday evening on the National Communications Network (NCN) has garnered more than $8.7M.
Committee Chairperson, Minister of Human Services and Social Security Priya Manickchand disclosed that several other contributions as well as calls received by the committee today may push the sum past the $10M mark.
The telethon continues tonight in the NCN studios and will run for as long as Guyanese are making contributions.
Executive Director of the Association, Edward Shields made a personal contribution of $50,000 and BK International has promised to send a ship which will be used to ferry supplies to the country.
Other pledges include $500,000 worth of oil from the Pomeroon Oil Mill and $500,000 worth in pharmaceuticals from the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (GPC).
Officials of Government, religious organizations, political parties, the private sector, and civil society on Thursday evening alternated in varying panels to discuss the devastating earthquake as the Relief Committee sought to raise funds for the island.
Those on the panels were Ministers of Transport and Hydraulics and Amerindian Affairs Robeson Benn and Pauline Sukhai respectively, Leader of the Opposition Robert Corbin, Presidential Advisor on Governance Gail Teixeira, GAP/ROAR member Everall Franklin, PNCR members Dr. Faith Harding and Basil Williams and Chairman of the Private Sector Commission Gerald Gouveia.
Minister Manickchand urged society to contribute to the worthy cause, since this tragedy can apply to anyone. She noted that individuals and organisations have already donated supplies to the country through monetary donations, food items, fuel and water.
"This gesture is not surprising because Guyana is known for its generosity to give to others and so Guyanese are coming out in their numbers to contribute to Haiti," the Minister said.