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Thousands to benefit from better roads, bridges

More than 35,000 citizens will now have better access to farmlands in Parika, Laluni, Ruby and Onverwagt, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

This relief is made possible through a new allocation of loan and grant resources to Guyana from the Caricom Development Fund.

Hon. Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan today signed an agreement with the Chief Executive Officer of the Caricom Development Fund – CDF, Rodinald Soomer, that will see Guyana benefiting from an additional US$2.4m through the Country Assistance Programme under the CDF.

Under the agreement, approximately 12 km of asphaltic concrete roads will be constructed, another 13km of all-weather roads will be upgraded and two reinforced concrete bridges will be built. These upgrades will help alleviate many of the problems hindering access to the backlands which are often impassible as a result of damage caused by adverse weather and heavy duty machinery. The loan will also rehabilitate bridges that have been compromised. All the roads are expected to be completed by August 2016.

An estimated 9,500 farming households will directly benefit from access to prime agricultural backlands in all seasons as government aims to help farmers in these areas increase production, incomes and exports in cash crops. This in turn will contribute to price stability for green vegetables mainly on the domestic market.

This new allocation supplements US$9.1m that Guyana received in July 2013.

Soomer in brief remarks said, “Achievements to date have been impressive as all the works have been completed within budget and on schedule.”

He added that Guyana can benefit from more resources to finance other projects in agriculture and other sectors as it automatically qualifies for further support by virtue of it having paid up its full assessed contribution to the Fund.

Minister Jordan in response thanked CDF and said that Soomer’s comments augur well for future collaborations with the CDF as the Government continues with its agenda for all Guyanese to realize the good life.

It is the first signing for a loan done by Minister Jordan since the APNU led Coalition came into office. Coincidentally, it is also the first signing to be done by CDF’s new CEO, Soomer.

The CARICOM Development Fund provides technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to enhance their prospects for successful competition within the Community, and to redress any negative impact of the establishment of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).