The Government of Guyana has inked two significant development loan agreements worth US$150 million with the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) to support the country’s infrastructure and modernization efforts.
The loans which are the first of such agreements signed between the governments of Guyana and Saudia Arabia, will be used to fund the infrastructural development works for projects in the housing sector and construction in the Wismar Bridge project.
The first loan agreement, valued at US$100 million, aims to develop infrastructure for 2,500 housing units across three regions in Guyana. This includes road paving, water and electricity networks, wells, and social facilities, benefiting both the housing sector and the local economy.
The second loan agreement, totalling US$50 million, will construct a four-lane bridge parallel to the existing Mackenzie-Wismar Bridge. This project aims to enhance road connectivity, alleviate traffic congestion, and improve access to vital public facilities, contributing to social and economic development.
It was noted that the agreements highlight Saudi Arabia’s commitment to supporting Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the importance of international cooperation in achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs). The loans align with several United Nations SDGs, including Good Health and Wellbeing, Clean Water and Sanitation, and Sustainable Cities and Communities.
Further, it was expressed that the government of Guyana’s aggressive drive to transform the landscape is evident in its infrastructure projects. Notable initiatives mentioned included the US$261 million high-span bridge for Berbice, the US$190 million Linden to Mabura Road, and a bridge across the Corentyne River. To cater to some of these projects; the 2023 National Budget allocated $136.1 billion for road and bridge enhancements, while $54.5 billion was dedicated to housing development.
It was noted that these agreements mark a significant milestone in Guyana’s development journey, emphasizing the government’s commitment to improving citizens’ lives, stimulating economic growth, and achieving sustainable development goals, and, the partnership between Guyana and Saudi Arabia demonstrates the power of international cooperation in addressing challenges faced by SIDS.
The agreements were signed in the presence of President Irfaan Ali, Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, SFD’s Chief Executive Officer, H.E. Sultan Al-Marshad and other officials.