Flood relief grants: Public servants caught in corrupt, unscrupulous schemes will be fired – VP

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Public servants who are caught engaging in corrupt and unscrupulous activities in the distribution of the Government’s flood relief grant will be fired.

This warning was made by Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo during a meeting at the Rose Hall Estate Community Ground, Canje, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).

The vice President’s statement came in response to dishonest acts by a few to undermine the successful rollout of the support programme, which was announced on July 31, 2021, for farmers who were hard hit by flooding during the period of April to June this year.

“We hired people to look out for our (the Government’s) interest to verify it (the compilation of names of proposed beneficiaries),” he said.

Jagdeo also announced that a mechanism is being put in place at the Agriculture Ministry to allow, over the next month, for persons who suffered losses during the floods to verify their names, for persons who were left off the list to have their names added, and for investigations into persons who should not have been on the list.

In a release on Tuesday, it was stated that relative to the latter, members of the public with information on persons who did not qualify but benefited from the flood relief grant are advised to contact the Agriculture Ministry with specifics to aid the investigation and action.

Jagdeo explained that assessments were done with the aid of regional organisations and a support programme of almost $8 billion was carefully crafted to help some 60,000 persons in various categories of households and farmers.

On July 31, 2021, the Government made available almost $8 billion to assist persons severely affected by flooding – a measure that was in response to a commitment that was made.

Cash of $100,000 was to be issued to homestead farmers, $50,000 to those with kitchen gardens, and $50,000 to affected households. These grants amounted to more than $3.5 billion.

There was a ceiling of $10 million in compensation for rice farmers. Those farmers who lost rice ready to be harvested were to receive $80,000 per acre. Those with rice sowed were to receive $65,000 per acre and those with land prepared were to receive $45,000 per acre. In addition, to this support, 60,000 bags of seed paddy were to be made available. These totalled up to $3.2 billion.

Affected livestock farmers were collectively to receive $600 million. Subsistence farmers, small farmers, medium farmers, and large-scale farmers were all targeted for support. In addition to these direct transfers, the Agriculture Ministry and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) were to assist through genetic improvements, drainage and irrigation works, technical support, and extension services to the approximate value of $500 million.