$300M in Presidential Grants for 220 hinterland communities -Minister Sukhai
Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Hon, Pauline Sukhai has said 220 Amerindian villages and communities would benefit from Presidential Grant funds totalling $300 million this year.
Minister Sukhai told the National Assembly on Friday that the funds would be used to pursue sustainable community projects.
She noted that over the last three months, 213 Amerindian villages accessed their 2020 Presidential Grant funds with little to no hassle.
The Amerindian Affairs Minister called out the former Administration for the manner in which they distributed the grants over the last five years. She said no effort was made to increase the funds.
“In fact, Mr. Speaker, they put on conditions and requirements for accessing the Presidential Grant that only a mere 40 per cent of the communities and villages across the hinterland were able to access those funds to stimulate some form of economic activities in those villages. That is a complete shameful act,” she said.
The Presidential Grant programme started under the PPP/C Administration in 2007. It is one of the major interventions undertaken to boost economic and social development for the Amerindians in their respective communities.
Villages and communities receive up to $2 million based on their population size, to support projects including, the procurement of boats, engines, buses, tractors and trailers and all-terrain vehicles.
It also covers agricultural enterprises such as cattle and poultry rearing, cash crop farming and tourism ventures. The construction of pavilions, multi-purpose halls, village offices, village shops, roads, trails, bridges and revetments are also funded under the Grant.