– additional $1B to strengthen admin capacity
The European Union (EU) will be plugging $7B to aid Guyana in the area of sea defence. Additionally, $1B will be provided to strengthen administrative capacity in this area.
During a press conference at the EU Delegation Office, located at Sendall Place Stabroek, Georgetown, EU Ambassador to Guyana Jernej Videtiè, said that this year will be a very crucial one, as it will exhibit the EU’s commitment to strengthen cooperation with Guyana.
The conference was hosted to update the media on the “Future of EU/Guyana Cooperation”
“2017 is very crucial, since five important contracts are signed and will be signed. This shows commitment by the EU and its cooperation with Guyana. It is not about cooperation between governments, but cooperation between the two peoples. The improvements of the livelihoods of citizens (is) at the centre of the EU’s attention,” Videtiè said.
He noted that already, $22B has been invested in Guyana’s sea defence sector. This would include the upcoming $7B programme, which is the largest individual sea defence programme ever sponsored by the bloc.
“Sea defence is a very crucial area: the security of people, their property and their lives. From our side, I can say that we are very much committed to cooperation and the results of the investments are visible.
Flood protection is better, less houses are damaged, the protected area has considerable been extended – there are more sluices; better drainage system. So these are the things that have been done,” the EU Ambassador said.
Videtiè said that what is important now is maintenance of the system, particularly cleaning and raising awareness as it relates to littering. The recent heavy rainfall over the past few days, he said, has shown that the system is working.
“But we have to be aware that it is not yet perfect. With a new programme, we are working on its improvement, especially strengthening of the administrative capacity of relevant authorities, and for this, the EU will invest $1B just to improve these capacities.”
The envoy reported also, that an additionally $278M will be allocated to address the challenges of the people living on Guyana’s coastal plane.
“This will address sustainable fisheries, to improve sustainable employment of fishermen and women and reducing the CO2 (Carbon dioxide) emissions. These are challenges we need to address together and it derives from the answer to the climate change.”
“These are all grants, not loans to the Guyana government,” the Ambassador clarified.
In his conclusion, Videtiè said that the Guyana/EU partnership is very dynamic and successful.
“It provides real change for citizens. It’s not bureaucratic, but it’s addressing the direct needs of the citizens. The year 2017 is crucial, as key contracts will be signed, and many important projects in all the areas will kick off. I think that we can be proud of our achievements and look to the future with confidence.”
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