EU offers financial assistance to help Guyana manage oil wealth, fight corruption

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The European Union (EU) in restructuring relations with Guyana has set aside funding to support its earlier commitment to help the new oil-producing nation, poised for a major financial boost, fight corruption and in so doing avoid its pitfalls.

Outgoing European Union (EU) Ambassador to Guyana, Dr. Fernando Pontz Cantó believes the bloc is strongly experienced in managing public funds.

As such and to back an earlier commitment from the EU to help the country manage its new oil wealth and prevent corruption, the EU Diplomat disclosed that donor aid has been set aside for this purpose.

Guyana will benefit from direct bilateral financing totalling €21 million over the next six years but included in that sum is €1.5 million set aside for governance-related issues including corruption.

“We are in constant contact with the government on these issues like the fight against corruption.

“We know how committed they are and we know there is a whole framework of legislation that is addressing this problem. Of course, it is important that legislation is implemented,” Dr. Cantó said.

He explained that the funds will help Guyana to strengthen local institutions that aid in the fight to become efficient and effective.

“Things can always be improved.

“With a lot of money comes a lot of problems and one of the problems in other countries is corruption… it is encouraging that the government is aware and is working to prevent and fight it,” the EU Diplomat added.

Dr. Canto said the EU recognises that Guyana has the responsibility of deciding how its massive oil wealth should be used. Yet, he hopes that the revenues will be used transparently.

The support being offered to Guyana, at a time when the EU is pulling funding from other regional countries, is meant to solidify longer-term bilateral relations.

Last year, Deputy Managing Director for the Americas European External Action Service (EEAS) Javier Nino Perez visited and said that measures to guard against

The high-ranking EU official said that many countries have suffered from financial mismanagement and corruption when there is a sudden influx of revenue. Ultimately, he warned, poor management could lead to the economic decline of the entire country.

Such poor management and corruption could lead to countries being ‘blacklisted’ by the EU; this is a measure that severely affects economic prospects, potentially hindering investments.

Guyana had been ‘blacklisted’ by the EU in the past.

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