Georgetown, Guyana – (April 29, 2020) The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) has benefitted from $40 million from ExxonMobil Guyana and the Stabroek Block co-venturers, Hess and CNOOC, which will go towards helping the Ministry of Public Health to set up and procure additional quarantine facilities, food, sanitation items and equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff at the quarantine facilities.
Director General of the CDC, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig welcomed the support, noting that it is heartening to see corporate Guyana lending assistance during this difficult period. He said some of the funds will also be used to supplement the social relief efforts of the Commission, which seeks to provide food supplies to vulnerable citizens. Hampers will include food, cleaning and sanitation supplies, cloth masks and educational material on protecting against COVID-19, which will be distributed to senior citizens, children’s homes and economically disadvantaged persons.
“We continue to develop the most effective mechanism to ensure that the vulnerable population receives the most appropriate relief, since the levels of impact vary and can have short, medium and long-term effects,” Lieutenant Colonel Craig added.
The CDC, the Salvation Army and the Rotary Guyana altogether have received more than $60 million from the oil companies to support COVID-19 relief efforts. ExxonMobil Guyana and the Stabroek Block co-venturers, Hess and CNOOC, are providing funds as part of the programme established collaboratively with the Department of Energy to support social projects.
The Department of Energy assisted the Stabroek Block co-venturers with identifying programmes that were in greatest need of COVID-19 funding that could reach as many persons as possible across the country. Director, Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe said his Department was pleased to be connected with this national effort.
“In these challenging times the Department of Energy, Ministry of the Presidency is pleased to be associated with this national effort to bring some level of relief to our vulnerable communities and those on the frontline in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic in conformity with the ideals of shared sacrifices,” he said.
ExxonMobil Guyana President, Mr. Rod Henson expressed similar views. “We support first responders who are working hard to help Guyana confront this pandemic as well as those who need additional assistance,” he said.
Hess Vice President of Exploration, Mr. Tim Chisholm concurred. “Hess is committed to helping address the health, safety and economic challenges posed by this pandemic where ever we do business,” he said, adding that “As part of the Stabroek Joint Venture, our focus is on providing hospitals and clinics with the medical supplies and equipment needed for the fight against COVID-19, and on helping the populations most vulnerable to its impact with food and other necessities.”
Additionally, Mr. Liu Yongjie, Executive Vice President, CNOOC International, said his company stands with Guyanese during these challenging times. “As we come together in the face of this global pandemic, we hope that this contribution makes a positive difference in Guyana,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Salvation Army has received $10 million to support hamper distribution in the regions, in coordination with the CDC, as well as for hot meals for the homeless in Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four). Rotary Guyana also received $10 million to be used for medical supplies including the procurement of N95 masks, oxygen tanks and PPE for hospitals and clinics throughout Guyana.