Funding for LCDS project will not be affected by Budget cuts – AFC
The Alliance For Change (AFC) said that it wishes to make it clear that the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) projects in Amerindian and hinterland communities will not be affected by cuts to the 2012 budget.
According to the AFC, it is not amused by the vile attempts of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) administration to cause strife.
The party is urging Amerindians and all residents of hinterland communities to inform themselves on how funds for LCDS projects can be accessed from the Guyana REDD+ Initiative Fund (GRIF).
The party noted that under the agreement with Norway, whereby that country has committed to providing Guyana with up to US$250 million by 2015, a Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) has been set up with the World Bank as the Trustee. The World Bank will receive the money from Norway and transfer it to the Partner Entities when a request is made. These Partner Entities are the Inter American Development Bank (IDB), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank. (Not the Government of Guyana).
It was further noted that all projects to be funded must be approved by a Steering Committee that has been set up and which comprises of representatives of Guyana and Norway.
“Once the Steering Committee approves a project and agrees on an amount of funds to be allocated, it will notify the World Bank and the Partner Entity (IDB, UNDP or WB) of such approval. The Trustee (WB) will issue a Letter of Commitment to pay over the approved allocation. When the Partner entity receives this letter, it will send a Transfer Request to the World Bank. The World Bank will then pay the requested allocation to the Partner Entity which will make all payments to the implementing agency,” the AFC underscored.
The AFC said that the agreement provides that once a project is approved by the Steering Committee and does not exceed the amount in the Fund, money will be allocated.
“All projects approved by the Steering Committee, whether it be Amerindian Land Titling, provision of solar panels for Hinterland communities, Micro and Small Enterprise Development or any other approved project will receive funding, once they reach the eligibility criteria of the Partner Entity and the Steering Committee…Persons can check this information against what is provided by the World Bank by visiting the World Bank website: www.worldbank.org/grif,” the party noted.
According to the AFC, the Government’s vile attempts to mislead the Parliament into thinking that the budget amount of $18 billion that was voted against, was money that would form part of the treasury, was dishonest to say the least and could very well be intended to establish a false defensive position the government intends to take when it fails to reach the standards set by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and UN Development Programme (UNDP) for accessing the fund.
“This would not be the first time that the PPP/C Government would have failed to meet internationally set standards for accessing financing,” the party stressed.
It was explained that Guyanese will remember the negligence of the PPP/C administration in 2011 that resulted in Guyana not accessing $3.8 billion of EU funding for the sugar industry and the failure of that same administration to agree to benchmarks that would have allowed Guyana to secure a $4 billion security sector reform project fund from the British Government.
“It is clear that the PPP administration is unwilling to actively pursue any foreign funded project with high standards of accountability and transparency…The AFC will be publishing information on the management of the GRIF which the public can verify,” the AFC underscored.
The funds have recently been debated after the opposition cut from the budget, all but $1 from an allocation of $18.39 billion covering a number of carbon projects under the Ministry of Finance.
The projects were the Amaila Falls project ($16.4B), Amerindian Land Titling ($295M), Amerindian Development Fund ($205M), small and micro-enterprise development ($512,5M), adaptation project-Cunha Canal ($410M) and institutional strengthening of agencies connected to LCDS ($615M.)