Islamic Development Bank to mobilise support for Guyana

Countrywide flooding

…Head of State discusses national disaster with Bank President

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), having met with President Dr Irfaan Ali, has committed to organising support for Guyana in the wake of the floods that have besieged the nation over the past few weeks.

President Dr Irfaan Ali

According to a statement, President Ali met virtually with IsDB President Dr Bandar Hajjar and his team on Tuesday to discuss intervention measures and the Bank’s support in the wake of the recent floods across Guyana.
During the meeting, the Head of State raised the need for aid to farmers to restore their productive capacity, support for drainage and irrigation initiatives and further strengthening of the national drainage system.
“Discussions also centred on assistance for the affected hinterland and riverine communities. These areas, the President explained, depend predominantly on the mining and forestry sectors. Other critical interventions identified were the restoration of river dams, hinterland roads and bridges, many of which were destroyed and remain submerged,” the statement said.

IsDB President, Dr Bandar Hajjar

The statement further said that the IsDB President assured that no effort would be spared to support Guyana’s rebuilding efforts and enable more resilient infrastructure. Dr Hajjar added that a technical team would be in contact with Guyanese officials to develop the response mechanism and to mobilise resources needed under these very “urgent circumstances”.
“The Head of State said that a technical team from Guyana would mobilise and gather all the necessary information to accelerate the implementation of the interventions raised. He also thanked The Islamic Development Bank for its commitment to working with the Government and the people of Guyana and for its overall support,” the statement said.
Earlier this month, President Ali had officially declared the widespread flooding currently affecting Guyana throughout the country a national disaster. His proclamation was recorded in the Official Gazette.
The document states that as of June 7, 2021, a total of 28,228 households were affected by flooding, some with water entering their homes, or domestic animals and livestock in distress or farmlands inundated.

Region Two villages under floodwater

Guyana has been inundated by heavy rains since May, which have caused widespread flooding. The devastation includes submerged buildings and vehicles with adverse impacts on crops, livestock and health. It has been noted that the rainfall experienced in May alone was recorded as the second highest level of rainfall across the country in the last 40 years.
As a result, relief efforts to affected Guyanese have been nonstop, through various public, private and non-governmental collaborations. In fact, Government recently sought and was granted supplemental funding in the National Assembly to the tune of $10 billion to assist with flood mitigation measures throughout the country.
According to the President, the scale of this disaster is misunderstood by those in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), which is facing the least impact of the floods caused by the heavy rainfall over the past two weeks.
There are varying levels of flooding in communities. Those in riverine areas are facing the most severe challenge with rivers and creeks overflowing onto residential and farm land across the country.
Kwakwani in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) is one of the hardest-hit communities in the country and it was reported that at one point water levels were at some 12 feet owing to the overflowing of the Berbice River. More than 850 residents in the region have been affected.
President Ali has been on the ground along with other Ministers and teams from the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), and assessments of the severity of the floods and the impact on residents were done.