Providing financial and technical support for Guyana’s goal of lifting people out of poverty and unlocking the country’s full potential was the key focus of a meeting on July 29, 2015 between His Excellency Brigadier David Granger, President of Guyana and Dr. William Warren Smith, President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
His Excellency, along with the Prime Minister, Moses Nagamatoo and Ministers of Finance, Agriculture, Business, Community; Infrastructure; Foreign Affairs met with Dr. Smith and a team from the CDB.
The group discussed the vision and priorities of the Government; as well as CDB’s strategic focus, and mechanisms of assistance available from the Bank.
“We have a very clear vision where we want to go as a nation by 2020…we look forward to deepening the relationship with CDB,” President Granger said.
The broad themes of focus of CDB’s Country Strategy for Guyana 2013 to 2017 are promoting broad-based growth and inclusive social development; supporting environmental sustainability and disaster risk management; promoting good governance; and fostering regional cooperation and integration. Within this framework, CDB has financed projects in water and sanitation, agriculture, sea defense, and in education valued at USD 32.5 million in loans and USD 7.97 million in grants.
“We are very proud of our record of assistance to Guyana and have worked collaboratively with successive administrations to promote sustainable and balanced economic growth and development. CDB stands ready to support the Government in meeting the evolving priorities and needs of the people of Guyana,” Dr. Smith said.
Since 1970, CDB has provided loans of USD288 million and grants of USD37 million to Guyana, which is a founding member and the fourth largest shareholder amongst the borrowing member countries in the CDB.
Some recent major projects include the Sugar Industry Mechanisation Project; Enhancement of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme; and the Sea and River Defense Resilience Project.
President Granger used the occasion to remind the CDB team of the vast and complex geography of Guyana and the potential of the hinterland.
“Better understanding the landscape will further equip the Bank to help us as we seek to address the challenges we face,” President Granger said.
Guyana is the largest beneficiary of grants under the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) Programme, CDB’s flagship poverty reduction programme. Since 2013 USD $7.97 million in grant funding has been allocated to Guyana. Since 1993, Guyana has benefitted from four cycles of BNTF, representing a total investment of approximately USD $30 million in poverty reduction in Guyana.
Among these projects are the construction of the Tuschen and the Beterverwagting nursery schools; infrastructural improvements at the Guyana Society for the Blind and the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre; rehabilitation of the Hiowa Health Post; and upgrading of the Sheet Anchor Community Streets.