Caribbean-American Coalition (CAC) supports Afghan resettlement in Guyana
The Caribbean-American Coalition Inc, a civic organization headquartered in New York, overwhelmingly supports the resettling of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Afghan families in Guyana. The Coalition arrived at this conclusion after it received numerous comments and suggestions in favour of Afghan resettlement.
One proposal is to increase the number to between 5,000 and 10,000 families as a humanitarian contribution to the worldwide effort. Guyana has a tradition of helping others in need such as assistance to Haiti and others. It is a small country with a big heart. It has a close economic and strategic partnership with the United States which desperately needs global assistance in this effort. Apart from Guyana, other CARICOM countries should take some of the displaced Afghans, with CARICOM taking the initiative.
A statement by the Caribbean American Coalition (CAC) states that, “Guyana should seriously consider resettling 500 (or more) Afghan families in Guyana, working in close partnership with the USA, which would certainly welcome Guyana’s contribution at this crucial time.”
CAC considers this as a rare, once-in-a-lifetime humanitarian and partnership opportunity to provide a secure and desperately needed homeland in Guyana for displaced Afghans, at a unique time in history. The displaced Afghan families can be relocated from their temporary transit locations in USA, Middle East and other locations, with a complete, detailed vetting process to be done for all families to be resettled.
Most, if not all, of the displaced Afghan families are educated, English-speaking, and trained, having worked for US Armed Forces, contractors, security firms, news organizations, schools, NGOs, and support services. They can fill currently open positions in the expanding oil/gas/energy/security sectors, as well as can establish and perform off-site call centers, agricultural projects, security and support services, business centers, etc.
CAC is convinced that Guyana-USA economic and strategic alliance would be enhanced, while Guyana’s worldwide image of good will and humanitarianism would be advanced. Simultaneously, this initiative would add to the cultural and ethnic diversity of Guyana (some Afghans were among Indian indentured servants in Guyana). In addition, we envision continuing linkage, travel, transactions and interaction among Afghans in USA and Guyana – with tremendous short term and long-term economic benefit, and the expansion of other business opportunities.
CAC suggests the immediate use of one (1) or more closed sugar estate(s) in Guyana which have adequate land, housing spots, farming area, irrigation, access roads, space for businesses. The use of readily available pre-fabricated homes for quick, easy assembly may be obtained from USA’s Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) which has large inventories of other much needed temporary housing items.
It is estimated that the initial annual costs could be $100,000 (US) to house and provide food per family. We believe that the USA, United Nations, EU, USA and CARICOM can be persuaded to support this effort for at least 3 years, as well as contributions for infrastructure, schools, communications, food, transportation and energy.
The Afghans are a resourceful and enterprising people that will bring added innovation to Guyana. It wouldn’t be long before ‘Afghan City’ is adding to the diversity for which Guyana is famous.
It’s a WIN-WIN proposition for all. We urge our leaders to act quickly.
By Ashook Ramsaran & Dr. Dhanpaul Narine
Caribbean American Coalition, Inc.
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