The British Government will be supporting major infrastructure and development works in Guyana under a new fund that will also lend assistance to seven other Caribbean states. That US$550 Million fund will represent the largest foreign aid that any government will be pushing in this part of the world and it will come under the Caribbean Development Bank.
Additionally, the Security Sector Reform Programme in Guyana is expected to be updated and will take off under more support from the Brits.
The security programme was set to be implemented more than six years ago under the previous Peoples Progressive Party government but the government at the time made several complaints about the role of British law enforcement in the implementation of the programme.
The programme is now expected to move off the ground and the British High Commissioner to Guyana, Gregory Quinn, is confident that it will be fully supported by the new Guyana government.
Speaking to the media at a press briefing at his Bel Air residence, High Commissioner Quinn said the complaint by the previous government about the programme was completely baseless.
“To be honest, the claims of 2009 that we were seeking to impose and basically run Guyanese law enforcement, in our opinion was without basis”.
He said as the programme moves forward, there will be likely updates.
On the multi-million dollar funding programme to aid infrastructure work, the High Commissioner said the United Kingdom will not make any demands of the countries that will benefit. He explained that the countries themselves will decide on the projects that they want funding for and the funds will be made available through the Caribbean Development Bank.
He further explained that although UK contractors will be allowed to bid for projects in the region, they will have to compete with the local contractors and dealt with on their merit and not just because they may be British.
According to the British government, the funding will be supportive of vital new infrastructure in the Caribbean such as roads, bridges and ports to help drive economic growth and development across the region.
Prime Minister David Cameron announced the new fund during a recent visit to Jamaica on the first leg of a 2-day visit focused on reinvigorating the relationship between the UK and the Caribbean countries. It will make the UK one of the largest bilateral donors to the region.