US Government puts LEAD project on hold

US Government puts LEAD project on hold

In a one line statement which was read by an information officer at the Office of the President, the Governments of the United States and Guyana announced that the USAID funded Leadership and Democracy project has been put on hold to allow a re engagement process between the US Embassy and the Guyana government.

Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon and US Ambassador Brent Hardt attended the media briefing ¬†on behalf of the two governments. Dr. Luncheon said that there was no timeline attached to the re-engagement process as yet as focus will be paid to reaching an outcome that is mutually beneficial. He said the engagement is “intended to benefit the people of Guyana and the decisions that flow from ensuring benefit for the people of Guyana, I do not believe is one that should have constraints of time”.

Ambassador Hardt said he is confident that he is confident that a resolution could be reached. He said his confidence is supported by the fact that the issues they will be talking about have previously been part of bilateral discussions.

Questioned by News Source about what may be the government’s direct concerns about the project in its current form, Dr. Luncheon said he could not offer specifics at the time. The U.S Ambassador said the project has always been open to the scrutiny of the Guyana government and had direct concerns been raised, they would have been addressed.

Last week the Government of Guyana announced the revocation of the work permit and extension of stay status of the head of the LEAD project, USAID Contractor Glenn Bradbury. Dr. Luncheon could not say whether immediate moves will now be made to grant Mr. Bradbury a new work permit. It is expected that the Guyana government is expected to grant the official the work permit since in the re engagement process, he is expected to be called upon.

In a statement, the US Embassy said the LEAD programme was initially proposed in October, 2012 to benefit the Government and people of Guyana. The Embassy said its goals include the promotion of understanding and consensus building within the National Assembly, civic education for local government elections, and greater civic engagement among women and youth.

The embassy said the project was developed through extensive consultations with stakeholders including the Government of Guyana.



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