Guyana Chronicle
May 30, 2004

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HAPPILY, for the benefit of the Guyanese people, the Guyana Government continues to attract significant levels of foreign aid and overseas and local investments to boost social and economic development.

And this, despite some of the most disturbing overt and covert attempts by opposition forces to misrepresent and undermine policies and programmes being pursued by the Bharrat Jagdeo administration.

Fortunately for the people of this country, the representatives of the international financial institutions and traditionally friendly donor nations of Europe and North America exercise judgement based on established criteria and on their own awareness of the scrupulous efforts by the Guyana Government when they provide aid for socio-economic development.

Latest demonstration of the goodwill of foreign aid donors for Guyana came this past week with the signing of two agreements that will result in the single biggest grant aid in many years from the United States of America to boost economic development, battle the killer HIV/AIDS epidemic and help to enhance the process of democratic governance.

Details of the grant aid package of US$20 million (approximately G$4 billion) over the next five years were disclosed following a signing ceremony on Thursday involving Finance Minister Saisnarine Kowlessar, US Ambassador to Guyana, Roland Bullen, and the Director of the United States Agency for International Development, Mike Sarhan.

This is a hugely significant development in Guyana's dire need for economic development assistance, and comes at a period when the Government is about to receive further significant grant aid from the European Union (EU).

European assistance
The EU, which has been and continues to be the single biggest provider of grant aid to Guyana and its Caribbean Community partners over many years, should soon be making available to the Guyana Government approximately 40 million Euros under the ninth cycle of its development aid programme.

Guyana has also benefitted from financial aid from the United Kingdom, outside of the flow of EU assistance, and it has been noted that among the international financial institutions, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) remains a major provider of development capital resources.

In all of this, those sections of the local media, especially the electronic media, that seem to work hand in gloves with political opponents of the government, either fail to provide objective assessments of the benefits to Guyana from the cooperation agreements with the international donor community.

Or, worse, misrepresent and deliberately minimise the significance of official policies and programmes that attract and sustain such aid packages. For their part, it is to be hoped that the opposition parties would seek to pull back from their campaign of distortions and divisive tactics.

They should consider behaving in a manner that could suggest their own awareness of the fact that, in the final analysis, it is the GUYANESE PEOPLE, across the nation, who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the aid provided by the international donor community.

Such as, for example, the most welcome US$20 million aid package from the USA that coincided with last week's celebration of Guyana's 38th anniversary of political independence.