BUDGET 2022: Gov’t to use Norway money to fund massive flood-relief channels

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The government will tap into a US$54 million sum received from Norway, combined with investment income, to build two major drainage channels in Region Five and Six. These channels are expected to provide significant flood-relief to the coast.

This was announced by Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh during his presentation of the 2022 National Budget at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, Georgetown.

These two channels will add to the massive eight-door Hope Canal on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD); this canal has provided significant relief to the East Coast and Georgetown last year when Guyana experienced massive flooding.

A third outfall channel is carded for Region Three, based on earlier announcements from President Dr. Irfaan Ali.

These funds from Norway are those monies garnered through the landmark Guyana- Norway partnership under the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). Through the partnership, Norway signed a deal for USS$250 million, once Guyana’s deforestation rates remain intact.

In Budget 2021, Dr. Singh reminded that the government was able to unlock over US$85 million of the US$137 million that had been left unallocated from the Guyana/Norway partnership, after the PPP/C government left office.

Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh during his Budget presentation on Wednesday (Photo: News Room/Avidesh Narine)

More recently, President Dr. Irfaan Ali launched a revised LCDS- LCDS 2030- touting it as Guyana’s sustainable development strategy. This ambitious new development plan centred on making money by saving the forest and creating solutions to the climate crisis while pursuing a prolific oil and gas industry.

LCDS 2030 also aims to invest more in climate change adaptation and resilience so that the extreme impact of floods, droughts and other extreme weather events can be reduced in future. Consultations on the LCDS 2030 are being held to finalise the strategy.

The 2022 National Budget has been crafted under the theme: “Steadfast against all challenges, resolute in building our One Guyana.”

This is the third budget that has been brought to the National Assembly in the 18 months that the PPP/C government has been in office.

This is the first budget that includes financing from Guyana’s oil sector, through the use of oil revenues saved in the Natural Resource Fund (NRF).

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