A Demerara Waves article published today states that the United States has asked Guyana to allow Afghan Refugees into Guyana. It did not state if the US would fund the project or offer any kind of financial assistance to aid the process. While I’m all for humanity, and I love the Afghan people, and pray for their well being, bringing them to Guyana under existing circumstances would be like taking them out of the frying pan and putting them into the fire.
One just has to drive into some poor communities of Guyana to see the destitute situation that many Guyanese citizens are living in, and the Guyana government has an awful lot of work to do in bringing the lives of Guyanese up to a decent standard. One citizen of Region 6 has been crying out publicly for help for the last year since her house is falling down – no help has reached her yet. There is an unknown number of homeless people living in the streets of Guyana. Minimum wage is at a global low. Many Guyanese are struggling to put food on the table.
Afghanistan is a war torn region in which the United States had a direct input. The United States had funded and weaponized warring factions in Afghanistan for its own agenda. Now that the country is in ruins, why not finance them to rebuild right where they are? Afghanistan is a beautiful and mineral rich country, perhaps richer in resources than struggling Guyana. Or why not invite them to the USA where there are far more jobs and a stronger economy?
Yes, Guyana recently struck oil, but that oil wealth has hardly impacted the lives of Guyanese, and who knows how much it will – if it ever will. An article published only yesterday indicated that most Guyanese are pessimistic about oil exploration in Guyana since it has shown very little positive impact for the masses.
On top of all this, the Guyana government is morally and legally obligated to keep its door open to Venezuelan refugees – many of whom are struggling and homeless in Guyana. If Guyana cannot take care of her Venezuelan neighbors and its own citizens, how in the world will it handle Afghan refugees?
I close with a prayer that Afghans will find the strength and resources to rebuild their lives. I pray that the world reaches out to those beautiful people. The Guyana government should offer some amount of financial assistance to Afghanistan to help them rebuild their lives – as much as it can afford without comprising itself, but bringing Afghan refugees to Guyana is likely to prove disastrous given all of the above mentioned factors.