Two new World Bank credits approved today for a total of US$21 million
WASHINGTON, June 5, 2014 – More than 300,000 people from the flood prone region of East Demerara will benefit from reduced flooding and climate risks as a result of a US$11 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) approved today by the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank.
Nearly 90 percent of Guyana’s population lives in this narrow coastal plain, largely below sea level and vulnerable to climate change. Extreme rainfall in 2005 resulted in flooding and damages estimated at nearly 60 percent of GDP or US$465 million at the time. The impact on poverty was evident and many subsistence farmers, small business operators and vendors were affected.
Specifically, the project will:
- Upgrade critical sections of the East Demerara Water Conservancy dams and channels.
- Improve drainage capacity in priority areas along the East Demerara coast.
- Increase flood preparedness by installing instruments to monitor hydro-meteorological data.
The second project approved today for US$10 million will increase enrollment in general secondary schools and improve standards of mathematics teaching for secondary education.
“These two credits aim at reducing poverty and providing opportunities for all Guyanese by reducing vulnerability to climate change and ensuring quality secondary education,” said Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank country director for the Caribbean. “To boost competitiveness, it is essential to address the vulnerability to climate risks and ensure that the skills learnt in the classroom lay the foundation for future work-place success”.
About 85 percent of young Guyanese are enrolled in secondary education. The Government has set an objective to achieve quality universal secondary education.
Among concrete results to be achieved by the project are:
- 2,600 new students from vulnerable areas enrolled in general secondary schools.
- A pilot technology-assisted learning in mathematics
- 600 secondary mathematics teachers trained, mathematics standards for secondary school teachers increased, and math kits distributed to 250 secondary schools.
These IDA credits to the Government of Guyana have a final maturity of 25 years, with a 5 year grace period.