Govt distributed close to $5B in cash grants to hinterland, riverine areas

– more could be distributed based on assessment of needs, fiscal space

Since its return to office, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has distributed billions of dollars in cash grants to ordinary people. In this year alone, they’ve already distributed almost $5 billion to people in the hinterland and riverine areas.
This was revealed by Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo during his recent press briefing. Guyana Times understands that the money was distributed to over 40,000 Guyanese and that a further 8000 people are slated to benefit from the remainder.
“With the hinterland and riverine allowance that was given out the cash grant, it should bring it close to the $5 billion. Right now, there are no further plans, that we have, to give out any… once we complete the pensioners one that is ongoing, we don’t have any further plans,” Jagdeo said.

Several hinterland residents after receiving the cash grant

“But that can change anytime, based on an assessment of the fiscal. We’re reviewing the fiscal now. Only a few days ago I got from the Minister of Finance framework, to see how we’re doing for the year so far. He has to go back to Parliament to seek supplementary for some unforeseen expenditure. So, we’ll make a determination about that in the future.”
He also made reference to the “Because We Care” cash grant that is distributed annually to parents of school children. Under the “Because We Care” initiative, each child in the public and private school system receives $30,000 – $25,000 as a cash grant and $5000 as an allowance for school uniforms.
“Under us, since we got into office, this year about $6.3 billion has been paid out to the children of our country. So, they’re over $6 billion richer than they were when we got into office. And that’s per annum. And it will go further,” Jagdeo said.
Back in June, President Dr Irfaan Ali announced a series of ground-breaking measures, ranging from cash grants to households in the hinterland and riverine communities to the provision of free fertilisers for farmers, which are aimed at improving the lives of citizens.
Among the announcements was the distribution of a one-off $25,000 cash grant to every household in the riverine and hinterland communities of the country. This measure, according to Ali, would result in $800 million being pumped into the economy and would cushion the impacts of the rising cost of living.

Persons queue to uplift their grants

President Ali had also said at the time that Government would continue consultations, and would, in the future, make more announcements that are aimed at bringing further relief to the public.
Then, in October, the President announced a one-off cash grant of $28,000 for all old-age pensioners across Guyana – a move aimed at assisting senior citizens to have a better quality of life.
This is not the first time the Ali-led PPP/C Administration distributed a cash grant to pensioners. In fact, last year, a one-off grant of $25,000 was paid to all old-age pensioners across the country. That initiative alone placed an additional $1.6 billion in the hands of pensioners.
This is in addition to the annual increases of the old age pension, he pointed out.
Upon assuming office in 2020, the PPP/C Government raised the old age pension from $20,500 to 25,000 in 2021 and from 25,000 to 28,000 in 2022.