Govt serious about addressing flooding – Dr. Singh
-$10B being sought to boost response
The Government is returning to the National Assembly on Monday seeking just over $23 billion dollars in supplementary funding to boost its flood response and tackle other areas of importance.
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh tabled two financial papers last Thursday, with one including $10 billion in supplementary financing to support the Government’s flood relief efforts.
During a televised programme on Saturday, Dr. Singh said that $10 billion will, in the first instance, bring relief to flooded areas and provide support in the immediate aftermath of the flood.
“By that I mean the actions that are necessary, that will be taken to respond to the flood. Action relating to draining, pumping the water off of the land, protecting the integrity of the drainage structure and the dams.”
Dr. Singh said the funds will also help boost the delivery of relief supplies to households.
“We have already started deploying support to households delivering hampers et cetera, and we will have to make sure that households have adequate access to food, cleaning and medical supplies to keep them safe and well,” he added.
Dr. Singh stated that money will also be channeled towards cushioning the impact the rising water has had on the farming community.
“We have already seen the tragic scenes of farmlands under water for days and in some places weeks. We have seen disturbing pictures of livestock, massive loss of agriculture crops which will affect food supplies.”
Additionally, major infrastructure was damaged during the flood which now warrants emergency repairs to return them to some semblance of normalcy.
The Minister said there are several other urgent needs for which we are additional funds are being sought.
“These includes first and foremost the fight against COVID-19. So, we need additional resources for the purposes of securing enough vaccines to make sure that all of our adult population can have vaccines.
We also have a very ambitious programme in housing and water and we are seeking additional resources to continue to accelerate the housing programme and access to potable water,” Dr. Singh added.
He said there is another allocation for the security sector to ensure Guyana continues to fight crime effectively.
Dr Singh said Monday’s sitting of the National Assembly will show clearly which side of the House is interested in delivering solutions and which is against.