WASHINGTON, April 2, 2019 —The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a US$20 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) to strengthen institutions, laws and regulations to promote good governance and a prudent management of Guyana’s oil and gas sector.
Guyana is now among the 25 largest oil reserve-holders in the world after a series of discoveries starting in 2015. Annual GDP growth is projected to rise from 4.6 percent in 2019 to 34 percent in 2020.
“Well managed oil revenues can have a transformative and sustainable impact on a country’s development,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean. “Guyana today has an extraordinary opportunity to reduce poverty and bring long-term benefits to its people.”
The Guyana Petroleum Resources Governance and Management Project will provide technical assistance to the Government of Guyana in updating existing laws and regulations and introduce strong checks and balances to mitigate environmental and social impacts. In accordance with the World Bank Group announcement at the 2017 One Planet Summit, the project will not finance upstream oil and gas.
"Resource wealth can lift people out of poverty and boost human capital. But a robust policy framework with strong regulations and institutions is an essential prerequisite. Through this technical assistance the World Bank will contribute to strengthening Guyana’s institutions and enhancing its legal and regulatory framework, maximizing the benefits of its natural resources,” said Christopher Sheldon, World Bank Practice Manager, Energy and Extractives Global Practice.
The project will also build the capacity of key institutions including the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of Finance for prudent management of the oil revenues. The project will also enhance social accountability through information campaigns and citizen engagement.