Building resilience key priority in developmental trajectory – President

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In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, recent nationwide flooding and Guyana’s ongoing exposure to climate change, President Dr. Irfaan Ali said that the government is focused on building Guyana’s resilience.

According to him, the COVID-19 Action Plan will continue to be implemented, including by ensuring the roll-out of vaccines to the adult population. Vaccines, he said, will soon be made available to children between the ages of 12 and 18, starting with older children first.

He reminded of the major flood relief measures are already being rolled out. These measures, including direct cash transfers, are targeted at getting both households and producers such as farmers back on their feet in the shortest possible time.

As it related to combatting the effects of climate change, the President said that work will continue on reinforcing Guyana’s sea and coastal defences, including the construction of three new major outfalls similar to the Hope Canal, one each in Regions Three, Five and Six.

He also highlighted that planning will commence soon for a massive project to relieve South Georgetown from flooding. This will be done through the construction of a new drainage system and other infrastructure to facilitate this, whilst at the same time other areas of the city will also benefit from significant investment to mitigate against flooding and enhanced infrastructure.

He also highlighted that work has commenced on an expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). This will focus on ensuring that our vast standing forest resource is adequately remunerated for the global climate service it is providing, as well as ensuring that the vast potential of the blue economy is harnessed for national development.

On the economic front, he emphasised that the productive sector will be widely diversified to ensure resilience to economic shocks. This will see a strong non-oil mining sector, including large and medium scale gold production, bauxite, manganese and diamonds, as well as possibilities for expansion into copper and rare earths.

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