Today, President Irfaan Ali announced the disbursement of €7.5M in budget support from the European Union (EU).
The President hosted a joint press conference with EU officials where he noted that efforts are already afoot to define new arrangements to govern even stronger relations.
The financial support given to Guyana and other countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific grouping is disbursed from the European Development Fund. The arrangement was designed to provide aid after Europe abandoned the preferential market agreement.
While the €7.5M is the final tranche of an overall €34M both Pérez and President Ali told the media that it does not mark the end of such relations.
President Ali said that the EU remains Guyana’s largest provider of grant resources and as such, the government has a heavy interest in maintaining and even improving relations.
Ali told the media that the PPP government has a huge developmental agenda with a heavy cost. He said that there is a mistaken belief that because Guyana is now an oil-producing country, it is no longer dependent on external support.
The President explained that Guyana is a distance away from receiving the big bucks from its oil sector and therefore still needs financial brace.
President Ali said that the EU’s money will go towards rebuilding Guyana’s fragile sea defence among other government initiatives.
Pérez vowed that the EU is definitely interested in strengthening relations with Guyana. He said that the Union has full confidence that the money will be properly managed.
The official said that there is hope that the EU can foster better political relations and operational cooperation with Guyana.