CARICOM/Guyana should take 1000 Syrian Refugees


By The Piper

The PiperThe January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti brought out the best of Guyanese values. The show of support by the Guyanese public was backed up by the Government of Guyana donation of one million dollars (USD). It will take a long time before the Haitian people return to full normalcy.

In the meantime, another disaster with roots in the Middle East (and also in the African Horn) is evident in Europe. Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body on a Turkish beach has indeed shocked the conscience of people all over the globe. Aylan is now dead and gone, but he left hundreds of thousands behind, all of them destitute, some dying. These are men and women in search of a home, a place for survival.

Many of us rightfully criticize the West for its racism, both historical and current, but we need to go beyond criticism. Why can’t the BRICS countries, for instance, step in and take in those refugees? What more has to happen? If the BRICS cannot show leadership now, then its claims of resisting Western hegemony will ring hallow. Germany has stepped up to the plate, but what awaits those refugees in Germany only time will tell.

We should not wait around for the big countries to do the job. Leadership comes in many forms, and in many magnitudes, and this is where CARICOM countries come in to play. Regional leadership can now be taken, can now be acted on, and implemented all at once. This would substantiate the narratives of liberation propounded by Caribbean leaders at the United Nations and elsewhere.

If CARICOM cannot make up its mind and do something when the call for leadership is urgent, then Guyana might itself take up the challenge, with perhaps 500 souls. Our response to the Haitian earthquake proves that Guyanese, when called upon, can put aside the tiresome and petty feelings of ethnic injury we suffer because of each other.

What is called for here is indeed a huge undertaking, but we have endured, and then triumphed over brutalities heaped on us by the same Europe where human beings are now abandoned from the streets to the train stations. In one notable case, the President of Hungary, Viktor Urban is on record that his country’s decision is based on protecting ‘European civilization’.

How will this be done? The first and only thing is for the government to immediately ask for Guyanese families to take in some refugee families. That is the basic strategy. It is strikingly simple because our society is based relations of trust and reciprocity, and our hospitality is a national value.

Homes with refugee families will receive a monthly subsidy, which will end when the refugee family starts working. The Private Sector Commission will, of course, play a leading role in job placements. Then the next biggest job of all is for us to get our act together and help those who are truly suffering.



  1. Guyana is restructuring its country and maybe CARICOM should take them in since they just talk and don’t do anything.

  2. It makes complete sense to bring in at least 25,000 Syrians immediately. The UN should be engaged for monetary help.
    Our climate is not harsh and we have the land. We do not have enough people to grow this country.

  3. Are you crazy? CARICOM countries have their own issues. We could cannot even handle crime in our nations. These refugees would bring severe issues here that would have a long lasting impact on the region. A better deal would be to assist in resolving the problems back East that is the reason for the mass migration. Not import those problems here.

    Persons thinking with their hearts and not their heads would think this is a great idea. Then 10 years down the line when we are dealing with the fallout we would be regretting the decision…

  4. Exactly. There are acres and acres of land in Guyana that can be developed. Guyana can relocate a whole city for those looking for a safe haven. It is no different than our ancestors many of whom arrived on its shores with just the shirt on their backs and who made the country and people we are today. We have been known for the land of many races. Now is the time to live up to that again. Maybe countries like Canada can supply some financial aid to guyana instead to get the refugee process going since they are reluctant to take in more prople. However it does seem that regardless of their sorry plight refugees only want to go to countries offering free housing, food and education and not to places where they need to roll up their sleeves.

  5. Nice thought Piper.Problem is , these refugees only wish to find a home in Western, first world democracies and all the benifits they offer. Low cost housing with ammenities, free medical, or (low cost with subsidies), free education up to university level and student lons or scholarships for University.Most of all the universal rights and laws protecting people.The surf and sand of troubled third world countries are of no interest to them.It is the start of an invasion of the ” haves”, by the” have nots,” and will go on for years, increasing every year, as war, terrorism and food and water shortages continue and increase in intensity.Walls are going to be built in the USA and Europe, perhaps even minefields in the seas to try and stop the peaceful invasion.
    Surrealistic I know, but the gap keeps getting bigger and bigger between the “have and have nots “and there are a hell of allot more “have nots”, so many casulties will be absorbed without slowing down the invasion.
    If you want to help give them food aid!

  6. Helping is good but when will you fine a job for them to start built on their own because there are many Guyanese without a job and political it is not a good idea


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.