Canadians Join Together to Help Victims of Guyanese Flooding

Jun 11, 2021

We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from Canadians for Guyanese people in critical need because of this terrible flooding.”

— Winston Kassim, IDRF Chair of Global Monitoring

TORONTO, ON, CANADA, June 11, 2021 — People in Guyana whose homes, livelihoods and community infrastructure were destroyed by recent floods are receiving emergency aid through a campaign started by IDRF (International Development and Relief Foundation) in partnership with the Central Islamist Organization of Guyana (CIOG), and supported by a Canadian appeal involving a variety of faith groups and organizations.

Through these combined efforts, IDRF will raise more than $12 million Guyanese dollars with additional monies expected to come as mosques, Hindu organizations, and businesses continue to raise additional funds.

While most Muslims give the bulk of their donations as Zakat during Ramadan and that money would have been earmarked for other charitable causes, a number of mosques have pledged to renew their fundraising efforts this summer in support of Guyanese relief. Mosques that have donated or pledged to donate include: Malton Islamic Centre, Sunatul Jamaat of Ontario Canada, Islamic Institute of Toronto, TARIC Islamic Centre, Brampton Islamic Centre, Jamiat Ul Ansar of Brampton, Imdadul Islamic Centre, International Muslims Organization, Islamic Society of Markham, and the Islamic Foundation of Toronto. Other organizations donating or pledging include the Global Care Outreach (Vishnu Mandir).

“We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from Canadians for Guyanese people in critical need because of this terrible flooding,” said Winston Kassim, IDRF’s Chair of Global Monitoring, and a Canadian of Guyanese heritage who is a Member of the Order of Canada. “In particular, I want to thank all the mosques who have so generously pledged to raise funds again throughout the summer. It is wonderful to see so many people of diverse backgrounds and faiths come together with a single purpose to help others who are suffering and in great need.”

Mr. Kassim and the CIOG team have been in close coordination with the President’s office to ensure its humanitarian relief is meeting the most urgent needs of the affected communities and to sustain that support for an extended period. The team is already providing emergency relief across Guyana including in Barima Waini, Essequibo islands, Goed Fortuin and Canals Polder West Bank Demerara, Mahaica Mahaicony Abary, and Black Bush Polder Corentyne Berbice, which are some of the hardest-hit regions.

The funds raised are being used to provide humanitarian assistance to victims of the flooding, with an emphasis on food, and the distribution to farmers of livestock such as chickens that will sustain them in future. Donations to support these efforts can be made on the IDRF website at: Tax receipts will be issued for donations.

Guyana has been inundated with heavy rains since May, which has caused widespread flooding. This has caused serious flooding which has submerged roads, buildings and vehicles, and adversely affected crops and livestock, creating food shortages and health issues.

“With the rainy season expected to continue through July, it is urgent to respond now while also developing the capacity to mitigate further suffering that additional flooding may cause,” said Shaykh Moeenul Hack, the Director of Education and Dawah for CIOG. “One of the most beautiful things we can do is to be kind to one another. Canadians have always generously responded to urgent relief appeals, and we are very grateful that you are responding to the one in Guyana now.”

About IDRF:
IDRF is a Canadian registered charitable organization dedicated to empowering disadvantaged people in Canada and around the world. Founded in 1984, IDRF has an enviable reputation as one of Canada’s best-run charities and has been recognized by third-party organizations such as the Financial Post and MoneySense for its effectiveness, efficiency, and results. Find out more about IDRF’s work in its Annual Report, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About Central Islamist Organization of Guyana (CIOG):
CIOG is committed to the development of every section of the Guyanese society with a particular emphasis on the most vulnerable groups, and with a focus in a variety of sectors including health, education, culture, sports, housing and water. For the past 42 years, CIOG has improved the lives of thousands of poor and less fortunate people in hundreds of communities across Guyana.