Amerindian Rights being trampled on Region No. 7

On Friday 17 April, Toshao Solomon Lewis from the village of Kurutuku, Region No. 7, along with Village Councilors, Michael Lewis and Timothy Lewis, visited the campaign headquarters of the APNU+AFC to speak on serious issues affecting their community.  The Toshao said that his village of 160 residents has, for more than five years, been …

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Education is about a whole new way of managing the economy

Brigadier Granger focused his message on education, beginning the meeting by presenting tablet computers to Jawalla’s Toshao, Lita John, and Kako Primary School Headmistress Stephanie Krammer, repeating his pledge that a David Granger presidency would engage the teacher’s union to ensure that teachers are the best paid public servants in Guyana. Holding up his cell …

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Granger attends commemorative service of Guyana Veteran’s Legion

Brigadier David Granger, Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform and APNU+AFC Presidential Candidate, attended a commemorative church service marking the one-year anniversary of the merger of the Guyana Legion and Ex-GDF Association into the Guyana Veteran’s Legion. The service was held on Sunday morning, 12th April, at the St. Sidwell’s Anglican Church in the Georgetown …

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Climate financing partnerships with Guyana are a global good - President Granger at concert to mark Paris Agreement ratification

Georgetown, Guyana – (December 6, 2016) President David Granger, on Tuesday evening, outlined three critical partnership areas for Guyana in support of climate financing in the international fight against the effects of climate change. These are improved coastal zone management, better drainage and water storage and supply systems and more modern hydro-meteorological services to improve weather forecasting. The Head of State made these remarks at concert organised by the European Union (EU) to mark the ratification of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. It was held at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston.

Emphasising the importance of working with the EU and other countries and international organisations, President Granger said that Guyana can develop an international partnership model that the rest of the world could emulate. “The Guyana-European Union partnership has remained relevant, resilient and responsive to the changing threats for over four decades. Guyana is grateful for the support it has received from the European Union and expects further, fruitful cooperation in the future, especially for climate adaptation… Guyana is pursuing a low-carbon, low-emission, green trajectory of economic development. Guyana will become a ‘green state.’ Cooperation with Guyana is a global good,” he said.

The President noted that adaptation is necessary in order to build greater resilience against the effects of climate change. However, this could be extremely costly for a country like Guyana which he said, requires a level of financing that is beyond its slender resources. “Climate financing, in the context of the potential disruption to national development by climate change, must be viewed as an integral element of development financing,” he said.

President spoke of his recent participation at the 22nd Meeting of the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakesh, Morocco where he called for climate financing for adaptation for Small Island developing states (SIDs) and low-lying coastal states.

“The Caribbean, an archipelago of small island developing states and low-lying coastal states, is threatened by climate-induced threats… Guyana is a victim of climate change. Its low-lying coastland where the majority of its population lives is susceptible to droughts and floods which can have devastating consequences for the country’s agriculture. It is vulnerable, also, to over topping of its river defences and to land erosion and degradation, which can destroy infrastructure and damage arable lands. Guyana, however, is also part of the solution to climate change,” the Head of State explained.

Meanwhile, EU Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Jernej Videtic informed that the EU has forged a strong alliance with the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States of which Guyana is a member and said that it plans to work with its partners to ensure implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The Ambassador also lauded the Government for its commitment to preserving its forests as a way of providing vital environmental and ecological services to the rest of the world. “We acknowledge and welcome the Guyanese Government’s actions on climate change for example the Low Carbon Development Strategy and the green agenda and of course Guyana’s early ratification of the Paris Agreement,” the Ambassador said.

He noted that the meeting in Marrakesh showed an increasing momentum internationally towards achieving the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as many of the EU’s partners indicated of their commitment to transition to a low carbon economy. “The Marrakesh conference proved once again our strength, when we work together. The European Union has a most ambitious emissions target…Let us see the Paris Agreement and the low carbon transition for what it is, the growth engine for our economies,” the Ambassador said.

He also spoke of the EU’s support for its partners in the climate change fight. Last year the Union provided over €18B to help developing countries combat climate change. “This is a significant increase compared to the previous year and it is a clear sign that we are committed to doing our fair to meet the goal of delivering $100M per year by 2020.

France’s Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Michel Prom said that Caribbean countries, particularly Guyana is at the forefront of the fight against climate change. He noted, however, that a lot more needs to be done to reach the 2020 goals. He informed that France has committed to increasing its yearly funds for the climate from €3B to €5B in 2020.

The Paris Agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015 at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Paris and was signed on April 22, 2016 in New York. It provides the framework for accelerating the global transition to a climate resilient, low carbon future. Today, it has been ratified by 115 Parties, representing 79 percent of global emissions.

The formal part of the ceremony was followed by a concert performed by the Clemsville Music Ensemble, a local orchestra that specialises in classical chamber music. Stand up performers were Guyana’s Russel Lancaster, who delivered a stirring rendition of M.A. Cossou’s ‘My Native Land’, Mrs. Katusha Fraser, whose opera styled performance of Georges Bizet’s Habanera from Carmen was a high point of the evening and Mrs. Chie Clarke on the violin with J.E.F. Massenet’s Mediation de Thais.
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FALSE AND MISLEADING – Finance Minister and BOG Governor debunk Kaieteur News article

Minister of Finance Winston Jordan and Governor of the Bank of Guyana Dr. Gobind Ganga have both debunked an article appearing in today’s edition of the Kaieteur News headlined “Major foreign currency crisis looms”.

“There is no shortage of foreign exchange in Guyana, the reserves at the Bank of Guyana have improved from approximately US$598 at the end of 2015 to about US$625M at present, an increase of US$28M,” Minister Jordan revealed.

He further stated that “when you consider the holdings by commercial banks, foreign reserves have also increased in the system from approximately US$955M at the end of 2015 to US$1.042B at present. Therefore, there is no shortage of foreign exchange, consequently, there is no foreign exchange crisis looming, and no need for the currency to depreciate. The Bank of Guyana will take all necessary actions to protect the currency and to protect the reserves at the Bank of Guyana,” Minister Jordan said.

Dr. Ganga concurred with Minister Jordan that there was no reason for concern.

“There is no foreign currency crisis looming in Guyana. It’s a misleading article, the headline is even more misleading. The fact is we have a net supply of foreign currency in the system, so there should be no depreciation of the currency by any significant amount,” Dr. Ganga said.

“It is not a situation where there is a piling up of demand for foreign exchange at the commercial banks”, Dr. Ganga emphatically stated.

Dr. Ganga provided details which illustrate that the current foreign exchange reserves held by the Bank of Guyana and the commercial banks were in excess of the 2015 figures.

“Commercial banks have increased their foreign exchange holdings. In 2015 they had a gross holding of US$357M, as of September 2016 it was US$388.4M and we are expecting the commercial banks to hold approximately US$403M by the end of the year,” Dr. Ganga revealed.

“The (commercial) banks have money and they have quite a lot, it is not a small amount,” Dr. Ganga added.
“The Bank of Guyana had US$598M at the end of 2015, currently we are holding close to US$625M which is much more than last year. You can see therefore that there is an increase in foreign exchange availability from the holdings,” Dr. Ganga asserted.

The BOG Governor said that an increase in the circulation of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbadian dollars in the Guyanese economy has been noticed and that this indicates that these currencies are being converted into Guyana dollars then used to purchase US currency.

“Since 2014 we have had a significant supply of CARICOM currency in the (Guyanese) system more specifically, for example, we had an increase in Trinidad and Tobago dollars from TT$9.1M in 2014 to TT$24.4M in 2015 and in November of 2016 TT$38.3M. You will find that it is very difficult to get foreign exchange in Trinidad in particular, so what is happening is that we have this flow of TT dollars coming into Guyana, converted to Guyana dollars and then used to purchase US dollars,” Dr. Ganga explained.

“We have also had a significant inflow of Barbadian dollars. From 2014 of BD$8.3M to BD$13.5M in 2015 and as at November 2016 it is at BD$12.3M. So you can see that we are also supplying foreign exchange to other countries in the region,” Dr. Ganga added.

“Suriname also has major issues and we find that it is happening at the border where there is a conversion of cash from Guyana dollars to US dollars and then repatriated to Suriname,” Dr. Ganga said further.

Minister Jordan said that the issue will be addressed.

“The issue as it relates to the Trinidad and Barbados currencies flooding our market will be looked at and action will be taken to ensure that this occurs in a normal way rather than it being here just to buy up foreign currency,” Minister Jordan explained.

With regard to the issue of difficulties of remitting monies, Dr. Ganga dismissed the assertion and assured that there is no problem and confirmed that all commercial banks in Guyana have at least one corresponding international bank.

-ENDS-

Contact:
Imran Khan
Director of Public Information
imran.khan@opm.gov.gy
592.686.8179
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