Senior Finance Minister holds discussions with World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, Lilia Burunciuc, new Resident Representative Diletta Doretti and team

-discussions centre on reinforcing relations with the financial institution

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, March 30, 2022: Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh and officials from the Ministry of Finance today met with a high-level World Bank team led by Country Director for the Caribbean, Lilia Burunciuc, and new Resident Representative of the Bank, Dilletta Doretti. The meeting served as an opportunity for dialogue on the Government’s economic objectives and priorities and potential opportunities for World Bank support through its assistance and lending programmes. Key priorities discussed included Guyana’s Low Carbon Development agenda, human capital development and opportunities for partnership between the Government and the financial institution in other areas in line with its expanding and evolving capacity.

Elaborating on the various ongoing developmental projects and on Government’s policies, Dr Singh placed emphasis on diversified economic growth, highlighting the desire for an increase in the private sector footprint of the IFC (International Finance Corporation). He alluded to a number of developmental projects in the agriculture sector which hold potential such as the corn and soya bean agriculture initiative. The Senior Finance Minister further welcomed the Bank’s continued investment in human capital development as well as Guyana’s Low Carbon Development agenda.

For her part, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean Lilia Burunciuc re-affirmed the Bank’s commitment to working closely with Guyana in promoting economic and social development while the new Resident Representative Diletta Doretti noted that Government has a clear strategy and expressed enthusiasm at being able to support the administration’s development priorities on behalf of the World Bank.

In August 2021, the Vice President responsible for the Latin American and Caribbean Region of the World Bank, Carlos Felipe Jaramillo and team made a two-day visit to the country where they met with Government and visited a number of project sites. During that visit, the Bank re-affirmed its commitment to Guyana and assessed areas for further opportunities for expanded partnership in pursuit of the country’s national development goals.

The Bank has been supporting several projects 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 increased 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 today also included Judith Green, Regional Manager, Caribbean region (IFC) and Javier Suarez, Program leader for the Caribbean. The Minister also took the opportunity to welcome the new Resident Representative to Guyana and wished her a successful tenure.

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