GEORGETOWN, Guyana (February 11, 2005) – Guyana is in a highly
vulnerable stage as it recovers from the deadly floods and there is much
work to be done, says a US-based humanitarian expert who assessed the
extent of the flood damage during a recent visit to the South American
Irina Wunder, who helps manage Counterpart International's Community
Humanitarian and Assistance Programs, said the work must continue to safeguard
the health of all Guyanese, following meetings with the President, the
Opposition Leader, the Ministry of Health, the Civil Defense Coordination
Centre, CARICOM, diplomats, local Guyanese and international development
Wunder joined Guyanese-American journalist and businessman, Bobby Vieira
of Caribbean Cargo and an international team of reporters, on a North
American Airlines/Le Meridien Pegasus-sponsored flood relief visit this
The international media team brought with them urgent food supplies and
pharmaceuticals for cases of leptospirosis which has already claimed several
lives in the wake of the tragedy.
Wunder, who manages humanitarian response programs that seek to help communities
help themselves by delivering essential material assistance and running
sustainable development programs, said Counterpart has identified some
of the urgent needs on the ground as well as implementing partners to
help with future distribution of life-protecting pharmaceuticals and medical
Counterpart is coordinating its response through the United States Agency
for International Development, several NGOs in Guyana's Diaspora in the
United States, and the office of Guyana's Ambassador to Washington and
to the Organization of American States.
Counterpart's humanitarian programs operate in several countries and
help vulnerable peoples with both short and long term assistance projects.
During her visit, Wunder reports being pleasantly surprised by Guyana
President Bharrat Jagdeo's command of the Russian language.