World Bank team in Guyana for “strategic dialogue” with Govt

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A high-level World Bank (WB) team led by its Vice President responsible for the Latin American and Caribbean Region, Carlos Felipe Jaramillo is here on a two-day visit and yesterday met with Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance Dr. Ashni Singh in the Finance Ministry’s Boardroom.

The visit aims to reaffirm the World Bank’s commitment to Guyana and to assess areas for further opportunities for expanded partnership in pursuit of the country’s national development goals. The team will also have discussions with Government on a number of projects. The visit serves also as an opportunity for dialogue between the Bank and the Government of Guyana on the Government’s economic objectives and priorities and how the World Bank can support these through its assistance and lending programmes.

During the meeting, Minister Singh acknowledged the Bank’s support over the years, adding that he looked forward to further assist in strengthening the partnership between Guyana and the Bank.
Following the meeting with the Finance Minister, the World Bank team, along with officials from the Ministry of Finance inspected various developmental and completed project sites which form part of the World Bank’s project portfolio in Guyana.

The site visits included pump stations at Enmore, Lusignan and Liliendaal that fall under the Flood Risk Management project for Guyana. The objective of that project is to reduce the risk of flooding in the low-lying areas of the East Demerara. Civil works are underway to improve drainage, update critical sections of the East Demerara Water Conservancy dams and channels, and improve hydro-meteorological monitoring.

Additionally, the team visited the Westminster Secondary School, West Bank Demerara which falls under the Secondary Education Improvement Project. The school caters for 1000 students residing in the Region 3 area and offers amenities in TVET, Home Economics, Allied Arts, Science and Information Technology Laboratories and a library, in addition to classrooms and a dance studio. A multi-purpose hall is provided for indoor sports, large gatherings as well as seating for the canteen facilities. The facility also caters for persons with special needs with wheelchair access to all areas on both floors.

The World Bank has been supporting various projects in Guyana over the years through a number of loans and grants including a US$20M loan for the Guyana Petroleum Governance and Management Project to support the enhancement of legal and institutional frameworks and the strengthening of the capacity of key institutions to manage the Oil and Gas sector in Guyana.

Additionally, the Bank loaned US$6M to Guyana under the Guyana Payments System Project to improve Guyana’s national payments system, while another US$13.3M was loaned for the Guyana Education Sector Improvement Project to improve student learning outcomes through reform of curriculum and teaching practices, US 37. 9M under the Flood Risk Management Project and US$12.5M towards the COVID-19 Emergency Response Project.

Further, the Bank also provided a US$7M Grant to this country towards the Guyana Education Sector Programme Project for the improvement and learning conditions at the nursery level in select areas, the increase use of technology-assisted learning at the primary level in select areas and to improve functionality of the education management information system nationally.

The visiting World Bank team also includes incoming Country Director for the Caribbean, Lilia Burunciuc and Outgoing Country Director for the Caribbean, Tahseen Sayed.