$35B to spur development in Amerindian, hinterland communities in 2023 – Vice President

Amerindian and hinterland communities will see accelerated development as government will be investing $35 billion in 2023, for infrastructural improvements as well as programmes that will improve their well-being.

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo made the disclosure while engaging with Amerindian leaders on Wednesday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo addressing Amerindian leaders at the ACCC on Wednesday

This is in addition to the $4.6 billion (US$22 million) earned from the sale of Guyana’s carbon credit to Hess Corporation for 30 per cent of the country’s forest.

This money will be disbursed to these communities by next week.

“If you look at our budget expenditure on health, on education, on roads in the hinterland, it’s going to be about $35 billion,” he relayed to over 200 Amerindian leaders who were present at the engagement.

Dr Jagdeo said a total of $8 billion will be expended to upgrade hinterland roadways.  Some $5 billion under the Ministry of Public Works and $3 billion through the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).

Also, 32 bridges are being constructed from Kurupukari to Lethem, which will improve accessibility for residents plying that route.

“We’re putting in concrete bridges so that trucks can run in any season,” he explained.

Over 30,000 solar panels are expected to be delivered by the end of the year, benefitting all communities.

“That would be an important task, a promise that we made, but because of the delivery schedule, it’s coming from India, it’s taking some time to get here,” the Vice President stated.

Discussions were also held with leaders to identify priority projects that were catered for in the $3 billion supplementary budget that was passed in 2022.

Over 200 Amerindian leaders gather at the ACCC on Wednesday

The monies were set aside by government after Amerindian leaders compiled a list of needs for their communities at the 2022 National Toshaos’ Council Conference.

“We want to make sure every community get something from the $3 billion that’s there. That is separate from this money we are talking about today,” the Vice President highlighted.

Dr Jagdeo said the interests and affairs of Amerindians were neglected by the past APNU+AFC administration as 2,000 Community Service Officers (CSOs) were left unemployed and work on the Amerindian Land Titling (ATL) project was stagnant.

Upon assumption to office, the PPP/C Government reinstated the CSO programme and rehired 2,500 persons and immediately began work on the land titling project.

“Even things that we did not put in our manifesto, we have been working on since we got into office,” he underscored.

To this end, 157 tractors and trailers have been distributed to various communities; 23 will be delivered during the next few months.