The Finance Ministry on Tuesday signed four loan agreements with the Inter-American Development Bank to secure US$40 million in developmental resources to fund key initiatives within the Ministries of Legal Affairs, Agriculture, Business and Public Health.
According to the Ministry, the resources will support Government’s developmental agenda of “promoting investment; improving connectivity throughout Guyana; diversifying the economy; and providing citizens with quality healthcare and social services.”
The agreements were signed by Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan and President of the IDB, Luis Alberto Moreno at the Headquarters of the IDB in Washington, D.C.
The first loan valuing US$15m under the Sustainable Agricultural Development Program will aid in diversifying the agricultural sector and improving its competitiveness and viability. It seeks to increase productivity of the agricultural sector while maintaining sustainable and climate resilient use of natural resources.
Specifically, it will produce high quality data for the agricultural sector; increase productivity, especially for medium and small farmers and increase sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) standards and access to meat processing facilities. It is expected that higher productivity will also contribute to reduced pressure on forest and fragile ecosystems, and at the same time, increase incomes for small and medium-sized farmers.
The second loan of US$9m is programmed for the Ministry of Business to support economic diversification and exports through the enhancement of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) and through a National Export and Investment Promotion Strategy. Specifically, the project will seek to enhance the capacity of the NQI, improve facilities for the NQI and enhance the capability of GOINVEST for export and investment promotion. Importantly, this project will seek to enhance the ability of Guyana to connect with regional and global value chains through the promotion of exports and foreign direct investment, particularly agri-business.
The Ministry of Health will benefit from the third loan toalling US$8m to provide support to improve maternal and child health. Specifically, this project will contribute to the reduction of maternal, perinatal and neonatal deaths in Guyana. This project will not only seek to increase access to and use of reproductive, maternal and neonatal health services, but, importantly, it will seek to improve the quality of those services.
The fourth loan falls under the Ministry of Legal Affairs. This loan of US$8m will provide support for the Criminal Justice System. It is anticipated that through this project, there will be a significant reduction of high concentrations of prison population in Guyana. The intent is to reduce the use of pre-trial detention of persons accused of minor, non-violent offences by aggressively promoting the use of alternative sentencing options such as probation, community service, restitution and fines. This intervention will also seek to ensure that our public institutions responsible for the administration of justice are effective, transparent and accountable.
The Government said the inking of these agreements is yet another demonstration of the robust relationship shared between the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the IDB.
The IDB, Guyana’s main development and multilateral partner, plays a critical role in helping Guyana to access a wide range of concessional resources from other donor countries and agencies. In addition to its own lending window, the IDB is currently involved in an innovative blending of grant and loans with the European Union in two projects, valued over US$96 million. Additionally, the Bank is working with Guyana as the Implementing Partner in some of our programmes under the Guyana- Norway GRIF Scheme.