CDB grants $44.6m for local gov’t reform here

The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a grant of US$218,020 ($44.6m) to Guyana to build capacity in key areas of local government.

A release from the CDB yesterday said that this will enable decentralisation of public service delivery, and greater local involvement in social and economic development, consistent with the sustainable development goals.

Landmark local government elections were held last year after a gap of 22 years and many weaknesses have been discerned in the system.

The CDB said that the project will help the government in building the capacity of the Ministry of Communities to better support the process of reform in local government; as well as capacity building of the Guyana Association of Municipalities (GAM) and an institutional survey of five municipalities, to help these entities improve performance and results delivery.

Daniel Best, Director, Projects Department, CDB was quoted in the release as saying, “The Project will provide a clear roadmap for local government reform, which will help reinvigorate local democracy and provide persons in communities with a greater understanding of the process and a greater voice in service delivery and local taxation decision making.”

The Project will aim to achieve key results, including:

* achieving greater clarity on the resource needs of Ministry of Communities, GAM and the municipalities;

* pinpointing areas for cooperation and potential synergies to reduce and eliminate wasteful public expenditure; and

* identifying needs of the vulnerable groups who are likely to be socially and economically excluded;

The release said that the project is consistent with the Bank’s strategic commitment to further good governance in the Region. It is also consistent with its Gender Equality Policy and Operational Strategy and the Special Development Fund Ninth Cycle.

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