Over $1B in carbon credit funds already disbursed to Indigenous villages – Min. Sukhai

The government has already disbursed $1.3 billion in carbon credit funds, from the $4.7 billion received from Hess Corporation, for the sale of 30 per cent of Guyana’s forest, in keeping with its promise to advance development and prosperity in Indigenous villages.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai made the disclosure on Friday during Region One’s Regional Toshaos/CDC Chairpersons Conference 2023 hosted by the Regional Democratic Council (RDC).

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai at Region One’s Regional Toshaos/CDC Conference 2023

Speaking specifically on the Barima- Waini area, she revealed that already, 37 villages have drawn down on the monies that were deposited into their bank accounts.

“There’s no problem with finances … when I visit villages, I expect to see a hub of activities, new and spanking infrastructure being worked on, engaging communities and villages.

“I would like to see women projects on the rise, I would like to see projects relating to young people, youth and sports development, I would like to see that you are paying attention to the elderly,” the minister stated.

Of the 242 Amerindian villages in Guyana, 165 have submitted their Village Sustainability Plans (VSPs), allowing them to access the monies that are available in their bank accounts.

(From left to right: NTC Representative, Melanie Pollard, Regional Chairman, Brentnol Ashley, Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai and Regional Executive Officer (REO), Tikaram Bisesar

Meanwhile, with more financial inflows being made available to indigenous villages, the minister is urging leaders to execute their projects in a timely manner, so that residents can benefit.

These include the Presidential Grant Programme, $10 million COVID-19 investment fund, $3 billion supplementary fund for Amerindian development that was earmarked at the last National Toshaos’ Conference (NTC) and the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF).

They were told to ensure that they submit their estimates to the ministry to receive monies available under the $3 billion supplementary fund.

Amerindian leaders were also encouraged to practice accountability and and work in the best interest of the people.

“Please start sending your financial reports to the minister, it is mandated by law, the Amerindian Act,” she emphasised.

Toshaos of the Port Kaituma/Matarkai sub-district attending the conference

They were also reminded that under the leadership of His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, every Guyanese including Amerindians will benefit from the massive transformation being undertaken by the government.

Also present at the conference was Regional Chairman, Brentnol Ashley, Regional Executive Officer (REO), Tikaram Bisesar, representative from the National Toshaos Council (NTC), government agencies and ministries among others.

The one-day conference was organised by the RDC, to provide Amerindian leaders with an opportunity to raise their concerns at the regional level.

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