The value of remittances to Guyana stood at US$374 million as at December 2019, the largest contributor to foreign inflows other than gold.
This information was disclosed by Public Infrastructure Minister, Juan Edghill, who cited the 2019 Annual Report of the Bank of Guyana, during his Budget presentation in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Edghill explained that at the micro-level, remittances contribute to a reduction in poverty as it keeps many families from succumbing to the inadequacies of their income.
The Minister contended that traditionally, the several International Non-Governmental Organisations and alumni associations that have supported Guyana, which stood alongside the individual family support through remittances, have been an immense contribution historically.
According to Edghill, there is indisputable evidence which suggests that the Guyanese Diaspora is rich in intellectual, human and financial resources which the Government will tap into as it seeks to broaden its engagement with various development partners.
He posited that the government will be moving in this direction as it anticipates rapid transformation as a new emerging major oil and gas-producing economy.
Meanwhile, in addition to financial support, Edghill also acknowledged the contribution of the Diaspora in their stand for democracy in the 5 months between March 2nd and August 2nd, 2020.
He said the Government is very appreciative of this support from Guyanese living abroad “whose words of solidarity, encouragement and prayers have helped us through that difficult period”.
According to Edghill in true Guyanese spirit, they have demonstrated what the great Guyanese poet Martin Carter wrote; “we are all involved, we are all consumed, if we don’t swim together, we will sink together”.
Edghill asserted that the potential that lies in Guyana’s Diaspora is vast and the Government will continue to leverage the expertise, talent and investment potential of such persons.