148 communities complete Phase 2 of Amerindian Development Fund initiative

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DPI, Guyana, Thursday, March 14, 2019

One hundred and forty-eight (148) hinterland communities across the country successfully completed Phase Two of the Community Development Plan (CDP) under the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF) of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

Implemented over a three-year period, the project funded under the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) aims to strengthen the entrepreneurial and institutional capacities of the village economy of hinterland communities. It will further improve linkages with the private sector to develop value chains and strengthen institutional frameworks to support local economies.

During Phase One of the Community Development Plan, 26 villages received disbursements to implement their respective CDPs. A total of $66M was recorded from successful businesses implemented under the project. Women made up 55 per cent of the persons who participated in the CDP’s preparation of implementation plans.

Phase Two saw the implementation of projects such as farming, aquaculture, poultry and village shops, cattle rearing, mining, transportation and tourism among others.

It was noted by ADF team leader, Mildred Akpan, that 161 communities were estimated to complete Phase Two.

The achievement was announced by Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, on Thursday, during the project’s closing workshop held at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s conference room.

The minister expressed gratitude to the various agencies for successfully monitoring the project noting that its success guarantees the Coalition Government’s commitment of the ‘Good Life’ for all.

“Our Indigenous people must benefit from these projects… The benefits must be seen and felt by the Indigenous people,” she said.

She encouraged stakeholders to request assistance from the ministry whenever it is needed. Describing the Indigenous people as the keepers of the forest, the minister said communication is the key between the relevant agencies and beneficiaries to continue this project.

Persons in leadership roles were exposed to training in terminologies and concepts, financial accountability and management, marketing and work plan preparation to assist in the management of their community business. A total of 1,244 persons benefitted from this training.

Meantime, for UNDP Resident Representative, Roberto Galvez, the conclusion of Phase two was a bittersweet moment; however, he stressed the opportunity for continued support.

“All of these communities that are very far away from services, and other benefits in the country are being reached by all of these project activities. In that sense, I am very glad that is not only to comply with all needs but the promises that the Government of Guyana has committed itself,” he said.

He commended the government for aligning this initiative with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which not only reinforces inclusion for all but the creation of 194 jobs and 387 part-time jobs.

Neola Damon

Images: Keno George


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