Rejected USAID Project still being implemented; Govt. to engage US Ambassador

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Cabinet Secretary. Dr. Roger Luncheon.
Cabinet Secretary. Dr. Roger Luncheon.

[www.inewsguyana.com]Government’s Spokesman and Secretary to the Cabinet Dr. Roger Luncheon confirmed on Wednesday (January 8) that the Government has received a response from United States Ambassador to Guyana Brent Hardt following initial correspondence by the administration.

The Government had written to the Ambassador seeking clarification following reports that aspects of the rejected USAID Leadership and Democracy Project was still being implement, despite the administration’s objection to its design.

According to Dr. Luncheon the response neither indicates that Government’s concerns were noted or that the project will be abandoned but rather calls on the administration to engage the US in discussions on the project and its design.

The Cabinet Secretary told reporters that while the administration may be inclined to engage the US and believes it is in fact necessary, it will not do so while the project is still being implemented.

“We need to have a discussion, the administration feels it is not an insurmountable matter and we must find ways to address the issue but we will not hold discussions while the project is ongoing” Dr. Luncheon added.

He is also hopeful that in those discussions Government’s contention on the project will also be discussed. A response to the US Ambassador is yet to be made, However Dr. Luncheon confirmed that crafting has begun.

The Cabinet Secretary said what is of greater significance though there appears to be a disregard for the Government and Guyana’s sovereign authority.

“He has in essence said to us that he has no respect for our conclusions.”

The Administration had rejected the project, stating that it had no input in the final design even though proposals were made in that regard.

US Ambassador to Guyana, Brent Hardt
US Ambassador to Guyana, Brent Hardt

However, despite Government’s rejection there are still some ‘reported’ activities being implemented from the project in some sections of the country.

The two Parliamentary Political Parties – APNU, AFC – has since joined in condemning Government’s rejection of the USAID funded leadership and democracy project.

The parties in separate statements registered their support for the position taken by the US Government and say it looks forward to the positive contribution it will provide to enhanced leadership and democracy in Guyana.

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