Media Center

Press Release


  May 15, 2006

Suriname’s recovery from recent widespread flooding received another boost today, thanks to a monetary contribution from the Organization of American States (OAS) to help ease the effects of persistent, heavy rains since the start of the month.

Assistant Secretary General Albert R. Ramdin presented a check to Henry MacDonald, Minister-Counselor at Suriname’s Permanent Mission to the OAS, using the occasion to further stress the need for more attention to flooding and natural disasters in general. The recent floods in Suriname are of particular concern as the country’s interior, already lacking in adequate infrastructure, was badly affected.

“We recognize the challenge facing the government of Suriname,” said Ramdin, noting that the $10,000 contribution from the OAS Inter-American Emergency Aid Fund (FONDEM) is already being matched by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). The OAS donation will be forwarded to Suriname’s National Commission for Disaster Reduction, which is responsible for managing the relief and recovery. The Assistant Secretary General also pledged that the OAS will continue mobilizing whatever help it can.

PADF Executive Director John Sanbrailo, on hand for the brief ceremony, conveyed sympathies, particularly to families of the victims. He said the Foundation would appeal to its corporate donors to match the Foundation’s $10,000 commitment to the Suriname relief effort. “We will be using these funds to try to leverage additional corporate donations, and we are making a call to private donors,” he said.

MacDonald, of the Suriname Mission, expressed his government’s thanks for the “generous” contribution, saying both the OAS and the PADF “have proven to be real good friends of Suriname,” because the people affected by this tragedy urgently need this help.

Others present during the ceremony included the OAS Permanent Council Chairman, Ambassador Ellsworth John of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, along with PADF Director of Caribbean Programs Michelet Fontaine and OAS General Secretariat officials.

Reference: E-117/06