Amerindian Affairs projects and community development unit to be restored 

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, August 18, 2020 

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Hon, Pauline Sukhai, has announced that the Ministry’s projects and community development department, which was demoralised under the former administration, will be restored to ensure better delivery of service to the nation’s First Peoples.

Speaking at a recent press briefing, Minister Sukhai said that the immediate course of action is to ensure that the department gets back on track with programmes. These programmes will be geared and designed to support Amerindian development in all the sectors including; tourism, agriculture, youth development, economic activities, village economy transformation, infrastructure and communications.

The projects department has various units overlooking the President’s Grant Programme, capital projects, youth programmes and the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF).

‘The project department that looks after presidential grants, among other economic projects, has almost diminished over the last five years. There are only two Project Management Officers existing that have to look after projects ranging from the Amerindian Development Fund projects, Presidential Grants, School Uniform Distribution and all the other projects in 217 villages.”

The Minister said that the previous APNU+AFC Coalition Administration failed to fill the vacancy that existed in these units, therefore “we will have to fix that”.

She further explained that the staff felt as though they were left “in a corner” as the former Minister’s secretariat took full control of all implementation of those projects that they were responsible for initially.

“Both the Projects Department and Community Development Department have been minimised to a point where they no longer are involved actively… We will have to correct that too because the leaders will have to trust the employees in the various departments to deliver on their programmes.

What we have found is that the amount of staff at the Ministry has increased, and the output and delivery of service decreased, and we will have to reverse that.”

The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs is mandated to enhance the social, economic and environmental well-being of Indigenous Peoples and their lands through collaboration, sustainable development and appropriate legislation, while at the same time ensuring the preservation of Indigenous culture and traditional knowledge.

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