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The Ministry of Fisheries, Crops and Livestock yesterday evening held its annual Christmas party at La Meridian. Among the scores of invitees were from left to right Minister of Fisheries, Crops and Livestock, Satyadeow Sawh, Prime Minister Sam Hinds, President Bharrat Jagdeo and Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Dr. Surujbally who sampled the delicacies at the party.
In a news release issued yesterday, the institution said: “The World Bank today approved two zero-interest credits worth US$16.76M to support Guyana’s implementation of its poverty reduction strategy. The two International Development Association (IDA) credits aim to achieve three of Guyana’s key objectives in poverty reduction including, stimulating economic growth; strengthening governance, public sector capacity and accountability, and providing the poor with improved access to health care and education.
The release continued: “ Guyana’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper calls for a more efficient and transparent public sector as a means to achieving greater growth and reducing poverty”, said Orsalia Kalantzopoulos, Director of the World Bank’s programme in the Caribbean. “These credits will help the country free up additional revenues to provide the poor with greater access to education and health services and put the country in a position to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.”
The release says the two credits follow the World Bank’s Executive Boards’ review of Guyana’s Poverty reduction Strategy paper (PRSP) in September of this year. The Bank is financing the country’s implementation of its PRSP by lending a total of $25 million (20 million SDRs) in zero-interest credits aimed at reducing poverty in the country during the years 2002-05.
The Bank says that the US$12 million Poverty Reduction Strategy Credit (PRSC) will support the Government’s ability to implement its reform programme as outlined in the country’s Poverty reduction Strategy Paper. The PRSC will support key objectives of the strategy including:
1 Stimulating economic growth and increasing the country’s productivity in key sectors such as sugar;
2 Improving the accountability and transparency of the public sector, and
3 Improving the delivery of public services including health, education, and water supply.
The Bank adds that the $4.76 million Public Sector Technical Assistance credit aims to help Guyanese authorities strengthen their institutional capacity to manage, monitor, and evaluate the country’s progress in implementing its poverty reduction strategy agenda. At the same time, it says, this technical assistance credit will strengthen the country’s fiscal, financial, and fiduciary management in areas such as revenue collection, procurement administration, and strengthening the effectiveness of the country’s social safety net programmes.
While the US$12 M IDA credit carries a grave period of ten years and matures in thirty years, the US$4.76 million IDA credit has a ten-year grace period and matures in forty years.