Guyana invited to apply for flood support from EU Civil Protection Mechanism

A family in their home surrounded by floodwater

Days after declaring a Level Two Disaster due to ongoing flood crisis, Guyana is now likely to receive emergency support from the European Union (EU) under its Civil Protection Mechanism.

The EU CPM aims to improve prevention, preparedness and response to disasters when an emergency overwhelms local response capabilities of the affected country.

During a meeting on Friday, Chargé d’ Affaires of the Delegation of the European Union in Georgetown, Evelina Melbarzde, invited Guyana to request for the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism to be activated.

She indicated this to Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, who was updating her on the Level Two Flood Disaster that has been declared in Guyana.

“Once the Mechanism is activated the assistance is coordinated amongst 34 countries who participate in the EU CPM… I would invite you to formulate your request and tell us what exactly would be needed”, the Chargé d’ Affaires said.

Melbarzde informed the CDC that if this mechanism would be launched it would not be linked to any EU projects that are currently being implemented in Guyana.

By pooling together civil protection capacities and capabilities, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism allows for a stronger and more coherent collective response.

In addition to the EU Member States, there are currently 6 Participating States to the Civil Protection Mechanism (Iceland, Norway, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Turkey).

Friday’s meeting was also attended by CDC’s Senior Preparedness Officer, Captain Lakshman Persaud and Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Olive Gopaul.

Heavy rainfall over the past weeks have caused flooding in all 10 regions across Guyana. As a consequence, it was declared earlier this week that the current flood situation in Guyana has reached a Level Two Disaster; that is, the national capacity to respond is not overwhelmed, but some external assistance is required.

The following day on Thursday, Caricom Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) has donated 10,000 surgical masks, 30 handheld, non-contact thermometers and 6600 water purification tablets to the CDC to support local relief efforts.

Meanwhile, the Guyana Government has moved to the National Assembly seeking $10 billion in supplementary funding for flood relief interventions, including repairs to infrastructure and supporting recovery in the productive and household sectors.