House approves monies to rehabilitate Amerindian Hostel, advance social, economic development

As the Committee of Supply of the National Assembly concluded its business late Tuesday evening, sums of monies were approved to undertake rehabilitation of the Amerindian Hostel located on Princes Street, Georgetown.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai explained that the rehabilitation work would include replacing doors, improving washrooms and enhancing the overall condition of the residence. Sums totalling $24 million were approved for the rehabilitation work while an additional $45 million was allocated for the construction of a kitchen and a concrete bridge at the hostel.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai (far right) in the Committee of Supply on Tuesday night

Moreover, the ministry aims to enhance the quality of life and promote social and economic opportunities throughout Guyanese with an allocation of $4.6 billion for the Amerindian Development Fund (ADF) programme.

A provision of $80 million was earmarked to advance education awareness and the revision of the Amerindian Act of 2006.

“The Amerindian Act is a very special act and that our government has committed to ensure that we consult at every village level … The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs is awaiting the approval of the budget and we will confirm our work plan,” she disclosed when being questioned by the parliamentary opposition on its work plan.

Minister Sukhai also highlighted projects that will be undertaken through the ADF.

These include the Presidential Grant program, which would receive more than $392 million in funding, while $343 million would support economic projects, $354 million would support projects targeting women, over $742 million would advance food security in the hinterland regions, and over $132 million would boost tourism. Over $397 million was approved for infrastructure improvement.

Additionally, over $310 million would be spent on providing land transportation to Amerindian villages, while $57 million would provide water transport. Communication would receive $10 million, and $50 million would support language and cultural projects.

Over $1 billion was allocated to support Community Support Officers (CSOs) and provide them with training opportunities.

Moreover, $800 million was approved for the legal securing of lands in more Amerindian villages and $100 million for the National Toshaos Council (NTC) Conference. Additionally, $147 million was allocated for Amerindian Heritage Month celebrations in September.

Over 200 Amerindian villages would receive an injection of an additional $2.7 billion in carbon credit funding. This funding will support hundreds of social and economic projects, empower leaders in governance, and increase their participation in the decision-making processes of their communities, and other administration operations

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