2021 will be a year of recovery for Guyana -President Ali

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali says the new year, 2021, will be the springboard from which Guyana leaps into recovery; rebuilding its economy, enhancing the health of citizens and lifting up the vulnerable in society.

The Head of State made this statement in his New Year’s address to the nation.

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali

President Ali is confident that the steps which the Government will take in the new year would further stimulate the economy and improve the fortunes of the people.

“The task before us in 2021 is to reaffirm our belief in ourselves as one people and one nation, determined to rise together in harmony, showing the world the strength and determination of which we are capable.”

The President said Guyana’s economic recovery is “demonstrably” underway, noting the positive reports from the business community during the holiday season. This, he said, is comparably better than any of the previous five years.

“There is more money in circulation and more disposable income in people’s pockets than our country has witnessed in a long time.”

Dr Ali said citizens’ standard of living and quality of life must be lifted.

He said there are communities within the society, which because of the disadvantage of geographic location, will need more help than others to benefit equally from the nation’s bounty.  The Government will identify those communities; assess their needs and identify solutions and implement plans to change their circumstances.

“This change will not occur overnight; it will take time, but every journey begins with a first step.”

With regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, the President cautioned that the disease still remains a threat and will “not die with the fading of 2020 in the darkness of midnight. It will still be there in the bright light of 2021’s new dawn.”

As such, he called on the public to observe the gazetted preventative measures to protect themselves.  President Ali noted that many lives have already been lost to Covid and individuals must act responsibly to keep themselves and others safe. 

“I again offer my deepest sympathy and sorrow to all who have lost loved ones to this dreadful disease, and I summon every one of us to act together to halt its spread.

“As a people, we have made great sacrifices, in the past, to overcome great trials and enormous challenges to emerge still standing, still vibrant. Wearing masks, sanitising hands, gathering only in small groups, maintaining physical distancing – all are necessary to keep everyone safe.”

President Ali also said Guyana faces the pandemic now with the knowledge that vaccines have been created, and have already been distributed to millions of people in the United States and Europe.  The inoculations, he said, offer confidence over concern and hope over fear. To this end, the Guyana Government is working intensely to secure vaccines to immunise the nation.

“Our goal is to inoculate all who are willing to accept the vaccine, starting with the most vulnerable in our society. They intend to initiate that first step and to maintain a steady pace that will take us to that journey’s end.”

Meanwhile, Dr Ali said the Government will soon be concluding phase one of the $25,000 per household COVID-19 relief cash grant.

Phase two will be implemented immediately in the new year to provide support to those who were not served during the first phase.