Poverty rate reduced by half since '92
Guyana Chronicle
April 17, 2004

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THE rate of poverty in Guyana has declined by more than half since the PPP/C administration assumed office in October of 1992.

So says Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport Gail Teixeira.

Speaking in Parliament as debate on the 2004 national budget wound down, Ms. Teixeira said the budget is one of the major mechanisms to facilitate development.

Minister Teixeira stated that since 1992 Government has been implementing programmes to improve the delivery and provision of health care, potable water, low-income housing, education and infrastructure for Guyanese.

The minister noted that in 1992, when the People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was elected to office, the poverty rate was 76 percent. This was reduced to 35 percent by 2003. She pointed out that there is still a lot to be done to further reduce poverty, but it is a commendable achievement for the Guyanese people and the Government.

Minister Tiexeira noted that prior to 1992, only 8 or 9 percent of the National Budget was allocated to the social services sector but today over 20 percent of the budget caters for the provision of social services.

Minister Tiexeira said there are a number of initiatives that will be implemented this year to celebrate Guyana's diverse culture in the areas of poetry, song and dance. She said an Indian troupe is due to arrive in Guyana shortly to celebrate the 166th Anniversary of Indian Arrival in Guyana and the ministry is negotiating with Cuba for a group to visit for emancipation.

Workshops will continue this year along with several youth programmes. There will be two special youth initiatives for sport this year, which will focus on completing the Bid Book for the construction of the cricket stadium. Minister Tiexeira noted that negotiations are taking place in India and the stadium will be constructed whether Guyana hosts World Cup Cricket or not.

Additionally, Government is responsible for a number of programmes to ensure that the society develops and is safe. She also pointed out that everyone has a role to play in the development of Guyana to ensure that the country moves forward.