Gov’t demonstrates steadfast commitment to combatting rising cost of living

Since taking office in 2020, the Government of Guyana has consistently implemented a comprehensive set of measures aimed at mitigating the rising cost of living and enhancing household income. This unwavering dedication aligns with its manifesto commitment to empower Guyanese and improve their lives.

Upon assuming office, the PPP/C government faced a nation grappling with the severe social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To alleviate the immediate burden on those most affected and stimulate economic recovery, the government swiftly introduced the COVID-19 Relief Grant. This initiative served as a crucial first step in providing much-needed support to citizens during a challenging period.

The grant saw one payment of $25,000 being distributed per principal household. From this initiative, over $7.5 billion has been distributed to families across all ten regions.

One East Coast resident, Lillowtie Ramnarine, had lamented the challenges posed by the pandemic and lauded the government for its swift response to cushion these effects.

“Some days you work, and some days you didn’t have work, but with the Government’s cash grant we will be able to buy some groceries and I thank the Government very much for it. I am grateful,” she told the Department of Public Information (DPI).

Another East Coast resident, Rooplall Pramlall, said, “I live alone…I try to work all round from security guard to farming, and the [cash grant] helps me to pay some of my workers…Farming here isn’t easy but with the Government’s help it will be easier,”

This cash grant also accompanied several hamper distribution exercises.

Another major step in easing the burdens posed by the pandemic and the rising cost of living was the provision of a $150,000 one-off relief grant for approximately 8,000 fisherfolk.

This measure was also intended to facilitate the expansion of the industry.

One beneficiary living along the East Coast corridor, Gopaul Pritipaul, commended the government’s drive to support the various sectors.

“I would like to thank the president, and Minister Zulfikar Mustapha for everything they’ve done for the fishermen because right now it’s not easy,” he said.

Anthony Roopnarine, a Region Three beneficiary, recalled that the closure of the sugar estates under the previous administration had significantly affected his ability to provide for his family.

The former APNU+AFC Coalition government’s decision to close the Wales, East Demerara, Rose Hall and Skeldon sugar estates in 2016 and 2017, plunged many Guyanese into a state of despair, and resulted in sugar production reaching its lowest level in history.

Thousands of Guyanese were placed on the breadline following the estates’ closures.

With the one-off cash grant, Roopnarine said he is glad that the government has recognised the importance of investing in the various sectors, and is making efforts to revitalise them.

“I’m glad the President has helped us out, and he has promised us that we’re getting more and we’re developing the country, and I’m glad about that,” he expressed.

Another Region Three beneficiary, Mohan Rampersaud expressed similar thoughts, “The government is doing something good to support us because with this we can help to support our families.”

The COVID-19 and fisherfolk cash grants were hallmark initiatives that represented a dedication to supplementing household income, and were accompanied by initiatives such as the education grants, fertiliser support for farmers, and housing construction assistance programme, among other notable interventions.