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United Nations seeks nearly US$3 million to assist flood victims in Guyana

Guyana. Today, the United Nations system launched a Flash Appeal in response to the emergency humanitarian situation created by the recent floods that hit Guyana during the second week of January. The floods, the severest in Guyana in over a century, have resulted in loss of livelihoods, disruption of services such as health and education, the threat of disease and the weakening of infrastructure. Over 300,000 Guyanese - nearly half of the total population - are affected. Drainage of the floodwaters has been extremely slow and even now, between 80,000 and 90,000 people still have water in and around their homes.

"This emergency may have gone unnoticed outside Guyana in the aftermath of the tsunami," said Jan Egeland, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator. "But for those struck, the effects of the floods have been no less devastating than on the Indian-ocean beaches. Having witnessed the impressive generosity of donors for survivors of the tsunami, I hope that they contribute rapidly and fully to this appeal," Egeland said.

The US$3 million appeal aims at meeting the immediate needs of the Guyanese population while preparing the way for recovery.

The funding being sought is required urgently to provide the affected population with safe water and adequate sanitation, re-establish basic social services in health and education, and give access to healthy food, especially to vulnerable groups such as pregnant and lactating women, children and the elderly.

In addition, the appeal will help kick start rehabilitation by providing small farming communities with production inputs such as seeds, veterinarian services and equipment to help them rebuild their livelihoods and contribute to agricultural recovery. Funding will also be required to build capacity to prepare for, and respond to, future emergencies in a coordinated manner. Funds have also been allocated to undertake post-crisis macro-economic assessments and build national expertise in the conduct of these assessments.

"Since the onset of the emergency, UN agencies on the ground, have been working closely with the Government and other partners to provide emergency relief", said Youssef Mahmoud, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Guyana. "We need to keep supporting the affected population so they can get back on their feet, and actively participate in rebuilding their livelihoods as soon as possible", he added.

The flash appeal presented today highlights the priorities in humanitarian relief and recovery activities for the next six months to be undertaken by the UN agencies in Guyana in support of, and complementing, the efforts of the Government, the Civil Defence Commission, and national and international non-government organisations.

Summary of requirements by Appealing Agency:

Appealing Agency Requirements in US$
UNDP 700,000
PAHO/WHO 690,000
UNICEF 725,000
WFP 800,000
UNFPA 60,000
Grand Total 2,975,000

Summary of requirements by sector

Sector Requirements in US $
Agriculture 250,000
Coordination & Support Services 300,000
Economic Recovery & Infrastructure 150,000
Education 350,000
Food 800,000
Health 800,000
Water & Sanitation 325,000
Grand Total 2,975,000

Contact information:

Ms. Margo Singh,
Officer of the UN Resident Coordination in Guyana
Coordination & Communications Officer,
Tel. 011 592 226 4040 Ext 243 or