… The unsubstantiated ramblings of Mr. Trotman should not be allowed to tarnish the glory of this moment – Minister Robert Persaud
Minister Robert Persaud sought to clarify his statement on Guyana’s attainment of one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) yesterday after Alliance For Change leader, Raphael Trotman, called it an “embarrassment” and “insulting” to people receiving Government Assistance.
Initially reported from a GINA statement, the Minister is quoted as saying “The eradication of extreme hunger and poverty, goal one, of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adumbrated by the United Nations for attainment by 2015, has been realised by Guyana.”
The AFC Leader commented on the statement calling it “an embarrassment”. He went on to say that “no Government official could seriously say that poverty and extreme hunger have been eradicated in Guyana” and that for the Minister to make such a statement “is insulting to people who are still dependent on assistance.”
According to the PRS papers, posted in the International Monetary Fund’s wesbsite, despite its abundant resources, Guyana is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere with a per capita income of US$770 in 2000. According to UNData, eight years later the Guyanese per capita income is now just over double what it was in 2000 at US$1,502 but it still falls short on the international scale.
Minister Persaud in his statement yesterday said “The remarks made by Mr. Trotman demonstrate a sad unfamiliarity on his part with information that has been made public for almost a week.
“It leads one to think that the AFC’s objective is simply to criticise and diminish the achievements of the nation thus far.”
The Minister sought to clarify the matter by pointing out that at no time did his statement actually say that Guyana has eradicated poverty. He went on to note that despite the fact that MDG One is usually stated as the “eradication of extreme hunger and poverty” the actual goal requires a 50 per cent reduction in the number of poor by 2015 – and according to the Food and Agriculture Organsation (FAO), Guyana has met this marker.
According to the Minister’s statement, the numbers to support this claim are included in the “FAO annual flagship report, “The State of Food Insecurity in the World” (SOFI) which will be jointly published by the FAO and WFP in October.
The information was released in advance of this week’s United Nations Summit Meeting in New York of which one of the principal aims is to encourage greater progress in the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In his initial statement, the Minister had pointed to the “Grow More” Campaign as well as a number of other initiatives as part of the Government’s concerted effort in 2008 to shield the population from a crisis in food security that would soon escalate to global proportions as food prices continued to rise.
He said that Guyana’s success in attaining this goal which apparently still eludes some first world countries was ‘wrought through astute planning and leadership’ by the Government in the ‘face of the consequences of climate change and international economic downturn.’
Yesterday’s statement went on to say that “The FAO has clearly stated that this achievement is to be applauded, and that it is a remarkable feat given the persistent global, regional, and national obstacles.” It was also noted that the report places Guyana as one of the three nations in Latin America and the Caribbean to have already achieved MDG1, the other two nations being Jamaica and Nicaragua with “Brazil coming in close.”
“The unsubstantiated ramblings of Mr. Trotman should not be allowed to tarnish the glory of this moment. For Guyana ensuring food security in a “food crisis” is of far greater importance and has far greater implications given the nature of our reality.”
Aug 09, 2020By Zaheer Mohamed It is the dream of every young cricketers to play at the highest level and while it is understood that not all of them will reach the pinnacle of the sport, one would expect that...
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]