Over $105M in cash grants distributed to Essequibo fisherfolk

– Vice President spearheads distribution at RPA Bond, Anna Regina

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo today delivered on a promise of the PPP/C Administration, as he spearheaded the distribution of the $150,000 one-off cash grant to Region Two fisherfolk at the Rice Producers’ Association (RPA) Bond, Anna Regina.

Grants were distributed to 706 fisherfolk and represents an approximate $105 million investment.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo addressing fisherfolk at the RPA Bond, Anna Regina

The Vice President, who has been spearheading the distribution across the country over the past weeks, explained that this is part of the government’s efforts to cushion the effect of the rising cost of living due to a number of external factors, including the Russia/Ukraine war and the COVID-19 pandemic, which have affected the global supply chain.

Reference was made to the part-time jobs initiative which enables persons to earn up to $40,000 per month for at least 10 days of work in government ministries and other agencies, the COVID-19 and farmers’ flood relief grants, which were also part of efforts to supplement household income.

He also urged the fisherfolk to take advantage of the many opportunities for self-improvement, while reiterating the government’s continued commitment to supporting their entrepreneurial efforts, for which small grants and other assistance through the Small Business Bureau are available.

Further, due to the changing nature of the fishing industry, the vice president advised the fisherfolk to ‘think outside the box’ and consider other training programmes, since enormous job opportunities exist in the growing oil and gas sector.

“I just want to urge all of you, if you see a training programme, even if you haven’t finished school, we have now on the scholarship programme through GOAL [Guyana Online Academy of Learning], you can do a remedial programme and then go on to the technical programme and those who have the qualification can do tertiary level, university type training, even in your homes,” the VP related.

Dr Jagdeo also spoke about the government’s co-investment programme, which will see the administration collaborating with private companies to establish call centres ad other businesses that will create employment in the region.

“So, there are going to be changes here and you have to be prepared for that. We are prepared to work with you…We don’t want people to be left behind if they put in the effort, but you have to put in the effort. I’ve seen people make the effort and they are making it,” the VP added.

The Vice President also addressed concerns raised by the fisherfolk. He was accompanied by Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall and regional officials.