Minister Sukhai announces big plans for Amerindians in Budget 2020
– 40 relief hampers distributed to Fairview village
Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Hon. Pauline Sukhai travelled to Fairview Village in Region 9 and distributed 40 food hampers and other items to vulnerable families in the community.
At a community engagement at the Fairview Primary School, Minister Sukhai explained that the initiative is part of the Government’s effort to bring relief to citizens who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This, the Minister said, will complement the stimulus grant announced by His Excellency, Dr. Mohammed Irfaan Ali.
Minister Sukhai also used the opportunity to update the villages on some of the projects included in Budget 2020 for Amerindians. These includes; increase for Presidential Grants, and the reintroduction of the Community Support Officers Programme, the ICT programme and the household solar programme.
As it relates to the presidential grant, Minister Sukhai advised that the 115 villages slated to benefit to immediately prepare to submit proposals for their respective projects so the funds can be disbursed by the end of December this year.
Minister Sukhai said that the first phase of the CSO programme will see an initial 20 villages benefiting. The remaining villages will be targeted in 2021.
Similarly, 25 villages will be targeted this year for the ICT programme which will see villages accessing funds to construct ICT hubs which will be equipped with computers and internet connections.
“This is a challenge and an opportunity for villages to prepare themselves…Those villages who don’t have the infrastructure, start identifying your location so that work can be started once the funds become available, “ Minister Sukhai urged.
According to the Amerindian Affairs Minister, in 2021, the Government will be focusing on examining the village resource needs, so as to ascertain the needs of villages and direct resources to address those needs.
For the youths, more scholarships will be made available for them to further education at higher institutions of learning on the Coast including the University of Guyana.
The Amerindian Development Fund (ADF) programme will also return in 2021 and will be fully financed by the Government. Additionally, the solar panel programme will return to target those villages that did not benefit. Those that already have solar panels, batteries will be provided where needed.
The Minister reiterated the administration’s commitment towards hinterland development.
“This is what we believe in that if we are to represent our people we have to ensure that we connect with them, visit them, converse with them…This is the only way we can be able to better represent you and forward a plan…We must not allow what happen in the last five years to keep us back. We have to move forward and look ahead for a better Guyana,” Minister Sukhai emphasised.