$300M Presidential Grant Fund for 220 Amerindian villages in 2021 – Sukhai
Over the last three months, some 213 Amerindian Villages were able to access the Presidential Grant Fund, which allowed them to pursue sustainable village projects, Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai told the National Assembly on Friday.
The Presidential Grant is one of the major interventions being undertaken by the government, aimed at boosting economic and social development for Indigenous People in the respective villages and communities.
But while those that benefited during the last quarter would have been catered for in the 2020 National Budget, the minister announced that an additional $300M has been set aside in the 2021 National Budget.
Sukhai, who was speaking during the ongoing budget debates, said some 220 Amerindian villages are to benefit from the $300M Presidential Grant Fund this year.
Through the fund, villages and communities will receive specific sums, which range from $500,000 to $2,000,000, according to population size. The minister said these monies would be accessed and dispersed without the conditions the APNU+AFC Coalition government imposed.
The Presidential Grant programme was started under the PPP/C administration in 2007 and continued by the APNU+AFC coalition when it came to office in 2015. Projects supported under the grant include the procurement of boats, engines, buses, tractors and trailers and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs).
It also covers agricultural enterprises, such as cattle and chicken poultry rearing, cash crop farming and tourism ventures inclusive of the construction of guesthouses, eco-lodges, and benabs.
The construction of pavilions, multi-purpose halls, village offices, village shops, roads, trails, bridges and revetments are also funded under the grant. To complement this, Sukhai also announced that another $1.7 billion has been allocated for support Amerindian villages and their development.
This, she said, will go a far way in helping Guyana’s indigenous citizens to withstand and mitigate the harmful and negative impact of COVID-19.
“This is something the APNU+AFC failed to provide to stimulate the village economies,” she added.