Amerindian development strategy project launched
Guyana Chronicle
January 22, 2004

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THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded Area Development Strategies Project for Amerindian communities was launched yesterday at the Foreign Services Institute of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The Project is intended to create a better quality of life for Amerindians by decentralizing strategic development plans using community level participation.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues, noting that Amerindian communities are classified as being poor, said the project was long overdue.

"We have some communities that have advanced and others that we need to work with. The Area Development Strategy is intended to help us identify those priorities", she said.

UNDP representative, Mr. Jan Sand Sorensen, expressed delight at being a part of the project and said that though it is a challenge, the project will be implemented in all ten regions of Guyana.

" The process that has brought us here today has been both demanding and rewarding, representing challenges and complexities at every turn", he reiterated.

He also reminded participants that the goal of the UNDP is 'sustainable human development" and that the project will focus especially on job-creation and the well-being of individuals in the communities.

Technical Publishing and Advisory Services (TPAS) was contracted by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs to carry out a broad-based study in all hinterland communities.

TPAS team leader, Harry Dyett, presented the findings of the study at the launching. The study included the response by Amerindians as to developments in their communities.

Mr. Dyett pointed out that many Amerindians felt tourism would be helpful in their communities, as this would expose their culture and handicraft while assisting in income generation.

TPAS Consultant, Dr. Veronica Brooms, explained the recommendations for the project, including the formation of an independent body to monitor those implementing the programme.

Other officials at the launching included Canadian High Commissioner Serge Marcoux, World Bank Representative Lucia Hamma and Inter-American Development Bank representative Carlos Antolla. (GINA)