Children’s hospital, development financing explored in budding Guyana/ Austria relation


By Vishani Ragobeer

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Austria, a country in Central Europe, has engaged Guyana about constructing a maternal and children’s hospital here in addition to other investment opportunities that exist locally.

This is according to President Dr Irfaan Ali who met with the President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen on Tuesday in New York City. The two Presidents are in the United States (US) for the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Reflecting on the two days of back-to-back engagements both during and outside of the General Assembly, President Ali noted that the Austrian government agency approached the Guyanese authorities on the construction of a maternity and children hospital.

In March, it was reported that the government was examining a maternal and children’s hospital that would offer specialised care to patients. Then, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony said that talks already started with bilateral agencies in order to establish this state-of-the-art facility here in Guyana. He did not identify those agencies.

President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen (Photo: Office of the President/September 21, 2021)

Following the meeting between the two Presidents, however, President Ali disclosed the European country’s interest in this hospital.

Meanwhile, Dr Ali also highlighted that the two countries also discussed connecting their private sectors, particularly so that the Austrian private sector can collaborate with the Guyanese private sector on investment opportunities that exist in Guyana.

As part of the seemingly deepening relations between the two countries, President Ali said that Austria signalled an interest in providing development financing. This type of finance is usually used for projects geared towards infrastructural development and the advancement of people’s quality of life.

Specifically, on the development financing, President Ali said that Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will work to “formalise and finalise” this relationship.

“Historically, we had no engagement in terms of projects and developmental work but that opportunity in that area is opening, in both private and public (sectors), to access development financing,” the Guyanese President said.

Furthermore, he noted that Austria’s interest in Guyana is part of the wider attention the country is receiving from countries and top businesses around the world.

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