$7.8B assistance for households, farmers affected by floods – President Ali

– $7.3 will be direct cash injection

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has announced that over $7.8 billion would be made available to assist persons severely affected by the recent floods. The President made this disclosure in a statement to the nation on Saturday.

His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana

Of the $7.8 billion, some $7.3 billion will be direct cash injection to those who suffered losses during the national disaster with the remainder to be utilised by the Ministry of Agriculture.

This measure is the fulfilment of a commitment President Ali made to assist those affected.

The President noted that based on an assessment, over 300 communities and 52,000 households were affected by the flood. The Government, through the National Assembly, had secured $10 billion for flood relief efforts.

The assessment also revealed that every sector took a hit, losing billions of dollars.  However, the President made it clear that while some large-scale farmers were affected, the ceiling of assistance would not exceed $10 million per farmer.

President Ali said more than $3.5 billion will be transferred to homestead farmers, kitchen garden farmers and to households that exclude either of the two farms. Homestead farmers would receive $100,000 each, kitchen garden farmers will receive $50,000 each while persons with households excluding kitchen gardens and homestead farms will also get $50,000 each.

Over $3.2 billion will be given to rice farmers as over 50,000 acres of rice land and 2,000 farmers were directly affected by the flood.

The President said farmers who had rice ready to harvest will receive $80,000 per acre. Those with rice sowed and lost in the autumn crop will get $65,000 per acre and farmers with land completely prepared but not sowed, will get $45,000 per acre. Some 60,000 bags of seed paddy would also be given to those farmers.

The President said in the livestock industry, assistance would be broken down into four categories. Those are subsistence, small, medium and large-scale farmers. Over 2,000 farmers are set to benefit from $600 million in direct cash transfer.

Additionally, they will also receive assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority. This will be undertaken in the form of genetic improvement, drainage and irrigation work, technical support and extension services to the tune of $500 million.

President Ali said ongoing infrastructural works will continue in those affected areas. This includes the rebuilding of dams, farm-to-market access roads, hinterland roads, mining roads, community roads and drainage system.

“This assistance will go a long way in bringing relief. However, it can never compensate for the emotional and social loss which I saw and experienced first-hand.

“I assure you this Government will continue to work on an aggressive national drainage plan in the context of climate change so as to mitigate further climate events and disasters,” President Ali said.

The President also extended gratitude to Guyanese at home and abroad and the country’s Caribbean neighbours for their support. He also thanked the Ministry of Agriculture, the Civil Defence Commission and other sectors for working beyond the call of duty to bring relief to affected persons.


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