Guyana to escape regional recession

—World Bank predicts with 51.7 percent growth in 2020

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Guyana is expected to see an overall 51.7 percent economic growth for this year, with further projections over the next two years, the World Bank reported on Sunday.

In a semiannual report of the Latin America and Caribbean region, titled “The Economy in the Time of COVID-19,” the international financial institution projects a 51.7 percent GDP growth for Guyana for this year, while 2021 and 2022 will see an 8.7 percent and 2.6 percent GDP growth respectively.

The report stated that Guyana’s economy had expanded by some 4.7 percent in 2019, with anticipated oil revenues spurring expansion in non-traded sectors.

It said oil production is projected to boost the country’s GDP growth to an unprecedented level this year.

The report said, however, that while this could transform Guyana, there are risks as illustrated by a “still incomplete election outcome and compounded by falling oil prices and the COVID-19 epidemic. Weak public service delivery and monitoring systems constrain the development of policies to reduce poverty and protect the vulnerable.”

Guyana remains locked in an electoral disagreement more than one month after citizens went to the polls on March 2, 2020. Weeks of litigation have seen the process now returning to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

A request for a national recount of the ballots cast in the National and Regional Elections by His Excellency President David Granger last month is coming to bear, albeit without the “supervisory role” of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

The President had sought the assistance of CARICOM through its Chair, Hon Mia Mottley to have a team be present for a recount of the votes, which he said, would end all speculations of fraud as purported by the political opposition.

That request was later challenged by private citizen Ulita Grace Moore and the Appeal Court subsequently ruled that the elections body should not allow any outside element to undertake its constitutionally mandated responsibility. The court, however, did not bar the recount.

GECOM is currently in the preparatory stages of the national recount and will meet again today to continue the process.

Meanwhile, while Guyana continues its fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic, the government is reporting successful handling of the situation.

President Granger on Saturday said his administration is becoming better prepared to fight the virus. He noted that while the country has embarked on a path of improved public health, there are still many challenges ahead before the disease is defeated.

He said his government is better equipped to provide proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)for the medical staff carrying out testing and treatment along with materials and equipment such as beds, respirators and ventilators for those who become critically afflicted.

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