Thousands of Guyanese who were affected by the recent flooding are set to receive cash grants President Dr. Irfaan Ali announced on Saturday.
Over 52,000 households were directly affected, the President stated.
The assistance covers various categories including homestead farmers, those with kitchen gardens, and households who had neither farms nor kitchen gardens.
The President announced that homestead farmers would receive $100,000 while those with kitchen gardens would receive $50,000 each. Other households, who had neither farms nor kitchen gardens, will receive $50,000.
In total, the assistance for flood-affected persons in these categories will exceed $3.6 billion.
With over 50,000 acres of rice lost during the floods and over 2,000 farmers taking a hit, rice farmers will also be receiving assistance in excess of $3.2 billion.
President Ali explained that for rice that was ready for harvest and was lost in the flood, farmers will receive $80,000 per acre.
For rice sowed and lost in the autumn crop, those farmers are set to receive $65,000 per acre and those farmers who prepared their lands but were unable to plant will receive $45,000 per acre.
In addition to this support, 60,000 bags of seed paddy will be made available to the farmers.
The more than 2,000 poultry farmers who suffered losses will receive more than $600 million in relief assistance.
The President said that the assistance will fall under four categories: farmers, and small, medium and large-scale poultry farmers.
Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) will be providing assistance through genetic improvements, drainage and irrigation works, technical support, and extension services to the approximate value of $500 million.
Further, President Ali said in addition to that support, ongoing infrastructure works will continue to rebuild dams, farm to market access roads, hinterland roads, mining roads, community roads, drainage systems and other infrastructure that were destroyed or deteriorated during the floods.
“I am aware that this assistance will go a long way in bringing relief. However, it can never compensate for the emotional and social loss, which I saw an experience first-hand,” the President commented.
He assured that the government will continue to work on an aggressive national drainage plan in the context of climate change, so as to mitigate climate events and disasters.
The floods were a result of unprecedented rainfall during the period of April to June this year. In May alone, Guyana experienced the second-highest rainfall in 40 years, resulting in impacts of massive flooding across all 10 administrative regions with over 300 communities, directly affected.
The United Nations body ECLAC is helping to assess the full socio-economic impact of the flooding.