President Ali hosts Saudi Fund for Development’s CEO and team

– as Govt/SFD prepare to sign major agreements for infrastructural development

His Excellency President Mohamed Irfaan Ali this morning hosted a breakfast meeting with visiting Saudi Fund for Development’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) His Excellency Sultan A. AlMarshad and team at State House. The Saudi team arrived in Guyana last evening and will be signing two major loan agreements with the Government of Guyana, namely the Infrastructure Development Works for the Housing Sector Project and the Construction of the Wismar Bridge Project.

Joining the President at this morning’s breakfast meeting were Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony who is currently acting as Foreign Affairs Minister, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal, Minister in the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar and Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Water Susan Rodrigues. Also in attendance were senior representatives from the Ministry of Finance who today also hosted the visiting Saudi team on a tour of the project sites as well as delivered presentations along with teams from the respective sector Ministries at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

These agreements are to be signed on Monday and are a follow-up to the May 12 last signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the finance minister on behalf of Government and the Saudi Fund for Development’s CEO regarding the Saudi Fund’s Participation in the Financing of these Development Projects totalling US$150 Million. The MOU was signed on the sidelines of the 2023 Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group’s Annual Meetings in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Singh led Guyana’s delegation at those meetings. 

The Government of Guyana has been continuing its aggressive drive to transform the country’s landscape and this transformation is particularly visible in the area of transport infrastructure. Work has advanced on several key projects including the new US$261 Million High Span Bridge across the Demerara River, the US$190 Million Linden to Mabura Road, and a bridge across the Corentyne River. In Budget 2023, $136.1 Billion was allocated for the enhancement of the roads and bridges network across the country.

As regards to Housing and Urban Development, Government has been working assiduously to fulfill its Manifesto promise of providing 10,000 house lots to citizens each year and it has been well on the way to achieving its 50,000 target this term, with over 20,000 delivered in its first two years in office. In Budget 2023, $54.5 Billion was allocated for housing development in new and existing areas.  

The Saudi Fund for Development finances development projects in developing countries by granting them loans, the technical aids necessary for financing studies and institutional support.  The Saudi team is on a three-day visit here.