The sustainable development agreement framework for Community Development Plans (CDPs) will be launched next year even as the groundwork is being laid.
This was told to the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources by Programme Coordinator of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Jude Da Silva.
The Ministry will be working with Amerindian villages to develop their CDPs, and to make accessing funding easier.
“We have moved a far way now and this will enable the communities that we are supporting to have each and every one of them to have a village plan or a community development plan,” DaSilva noted.
There are only a few Amerindian villages that currently have CDPs. “When these villages would have had their plans it would be easier for them to prioritise and submit to the ministry and other agencies for funding,” said DaSilva.
Next year will also see the re-introduction of the Presidential Grants. The grants will be issued based on the CDPs submitted to the Ministry. The Jubilee Grant replaced the Presidential Grant in the 2016 budget in observance of Guyana’s 50th independence celebrations.
The Jubilee Grant allocated up to $2.5M to communities and villages that applied. According to DaSilva, 117 villages and communities applied for Jubilee Grants which are at various stages of processing.
“What we saw this year is a lot of village offices, school kitchens, procurement of boats and engines and multipurpose buildings that are coming up for the Jubilee Grant,” DaSilva noted.
More than 80 micro capital grants given out under ADF
Meanwhile, under the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF) the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs expended more than US$190M on micro capital grants.
Coordinator of the ADF, Omar Bispat said that a total of US$2.1M was spent on inception seminars which were held in 150 villages and communities and which were attended by 4945 people.
Further, the ADF financed 84 micro capital grants in the first tranche to the tune of approximately US$180M and five in the second tranche valued $12.5M. The ADF is funded under the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) at a cost of US$6.3M.
The three- year project is being executed in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The fund is expected to conclude in September 2017 and works with a 161 villages and communities across nine administrative regions.
The ADF provides $5M micro capital grant for which each village is responsible for starting a business.
By the end of 2016 it is expected that 138 villages will be financed to the first tranche and 78 villages, to the second tranche. Works will be completed in output three by the end of 2016 and approximately 80 percent of the works in output two will be completed.
The aim of the project is to strengthen the entrepreneurial and institutional capacity of the village economy of Amerindian communities, improve private sector linkages and strengthen institutional framework to support local economies.