Economic recovery key part of World Bank talks with C’bbean leaders
Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh met with the Managing Director of the World Bank Axel Van Trotsenburg on Tuesday. The meeting was held under the theme “Road to Recovery: Tools for Building Back Better in the Caribbean”. Minister Singh was joined by fellow Governors of the Caribbean Region and the session focused on priorities of the Caribbean and how the World Bank can support economic recovery and resilience.
The meeting allowed Caribbean Governors to hear directly from the Management of the World Bank on their approach to regional issues, in particular, issues of recovery from the impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic, vulnerability to economic and climate shocks as well as strengthening debt sustainability.
The World Bank’s Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Semi-annual Report for 2022, reported the average growth for constituency countries – excluding St Kitts & Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda- as 6 percent in 2021. When this figure was adjusted to remove Guyana’s 19.9 percent growth, the average growth for constituency countries was estimated at 4.3 percent. Increased vaccination programmes and the reopening of economies were identified as the reason for this rebound in economic activity seen in these countries.
In March of this year, the Ministry of Finance met with a high-level World Bank team led by Country Director for the Caribbean, Lilia Burunciuc, and new Resident Representative of the Bank, Dilletta Doretti. The meeting served as an opportunity for dialogue on the Government’s economic objectives and priorities and potential opportunities for World Bank support through its assistance and lending programmes. Key priorities that were discussed included Guyana’s Low Carbon Development agenda, human capital development and opportunities for partnership between the Government and the financial institution in other areas in line with its expanding and evolving capacity.
The Bank has been supporting several projects over the years through a number of loans and grants including a US$20M loan for the Guyana Petroleum Governance and Management Project to support the enhancement of legal and institutional frameworks and the strengthening of the capacity of key institutions to manage the Oil and Gas sector in Guyana.
Additionally, the Bank loaned US$6M to Guyana under the Guyana Payments System Project to improve Guyana’s national payments system, while another US$13.3M was loaned for the Guyana Education Sector Improvement Project to improve student learning outcomes through reform of curriculum and teaching practices, US $37. 9M under the Flood Risk Management Project and US$12.5M towards the COVID-19 Emergency Response Project.
The Bank also provided a US$7M Grant to this country towards the Guyana Education Sector Programme Project for the improvement and learning conditions at the nursery level in select areas, the increased use of technology-assisted learning at the primary level in select areas and to improve functionality of the education management information system nationally.
Minister Singh is currently attending a series of meetings in Washington, on the occasion of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Spring and Annual Meetings and is accompanied by Mr. Zulfikar Ally, Deputy Chief of Mission, Guyana Embassy in Washington DC. The Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Boards of
Governors of the World Bank Group (WBG) bring together Central Bankers, Ministers of Finance and development, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organisations and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness. The Spring Meetings events will be held over the period April 18-24, 2022. (Modified press release from the Ministry of Finance)