Guyana, Chile sign US$200,000 agreement to enhance livelihood of the poor



signing[] – A three-component project valued US$200,000 was signed between Guyana and Chile. The project aims to enhance the economic standing of the poor in Guyana.

The agreement was signed between Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce (ag), Irfaan Ali and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Coordinator, Ms. Khadija Musa on Monday, May 12.

“The project has three outputs, addressing three of the critical areas we see in terms of national development, and in terms of complementing what we are already doing in strategising our development path into the further,” Minister Ali said.

He explained that the first component of the projects which values an investment of US$80,000, speaks directly to the issue of eco-tourism and developing and eco-tourism marketing strategies.

The second output, which is valued US $100,000, will focus on capacity building for rural poor enterprises.

“We are looking at 10 community enterprises and this would complement the Rural Development Fund. We have set aside one billion (dollars) for that fund in the 2014 budget, and this grant is going to help us to develop and equip rural entrepreneurs with capacity and skill in order to manage their business and to create more efficient businesses.”

Emphasis will also be placed on how to make businesses competitive by way of training in management, addressing the issue of accessing financing from banks, and decision making. This aspect of the project will be done collaboratively with the Small Business Bureau.

The third element, which has a value of US$20,000 focuses on the economies of starting and sustaining of small businesses. This component will deal with training persons, in terms of starting up businesses, and conducting assessment on how viable an area can be for a business.

Meanwhile, Ms. Musa in her remarks noted her pleasure at being a part of such collaboration between the Chile and Guyana Government. Giving a history on the project, she said the Chile Government, has a fund devoted to the Millennium Development Goal Number one that seeks to alleviate poverty worldwide.

Musa added that extreme poverty still exists as there are about 700 million people still living in such a state even as efforts are still being made to reduce the number.

She said that the project will give support to cottage industries and linkage to industries in selective rural areas as it also identifies and enhances alternative coping strategies for the poor.

The project will be implemented by the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce – in partnership with the UNDP and will be supported through technical assistance from the Government of Chile and other external experts. It is expected to be fully implemented within another year.





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