7.5 million Euros more as Guyana/EU look to define new agreement
The European Union announced a final tranche of 7.5 million Euros in budget support for Guyana as the two sides look to define a new framework for development cooperation.
The financing formed part of the €34 million multi-year agreement between Guyana and the European Union. The funding came under the European Development Fund which was developed to support countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific grouping known as the ACP after Europe abandoned the preferential market agreement it had with Guyana and other counties of the ACP.
The European Union has been a key development partner for Guyana over the decades and a high-level team has been in the country to fashion a new multi-annual agreement.
One of the officials, Javier Nino Perez, told a joint press conference with President Irfaan Ali at the Office of the President Tuesday that Guyana will continue to benefit from a national bilateral programme of development financing over the coming years even though the country has now tapped vast oil resources.
President Ali said that while the country is gearing up to transform the economy from oil resources, aid financing is still needed as a bridge before the country gets there.
Guyana has so far received just over half a billion US dollars in oil revenues, but that is expected to be significantly ramped up in years to come.
Perez said Guyana will continue to benefit from development resources in the near future because the European Union “trusts the government” and can see that it has a well-defined strategy, built on inclusivity, that caters for a wide range of sectors including infrastructural development and health.
President Ali said Guyana wants to see an expansion of the framework agreement to include the private sector as an important part of the stakeholder component.
The latest disbursement of budgetary support, like the previous tranches of almost 20 million Euros, will go to prop up the country’s vulnerable sea defence, which both President Ali and Perez recognised as an important safeguard from the rising Atlantic ocean.
President Ali noted that the EU has been the largest provider of grant resources to Guyana; much of it went into protecting the coastal zone.
The European Union Ambassador to Guyana, Fernando Ponz Cantó, noted that in the support provided in recent years (19.8 million Euros was disbursed in December 2020) went into either building or fixing the seawall that acts as a barricade for the coast from what President Ali described as the “aggressive” Atlantic.
President Ali said the sea defences ensure thousands of arable agricultural lands and housing areas are protected from intrusion of the ocean.