US Ambassador to Guyana gov’t: Do as much as you can to show citizens impact of oil on country

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Rome was not built in a day. The same can be said about Guyana’s oil sector since it was only in 2015 that the first discovery was made, and in 2020 that the first barrel was produced. While Guyana is now the fastest growing economy in the world, ensuring the windfall from oil production deliver benefits to the people will have to be a key priority of the government.

It was with that in mind that outgoing United States Ambassador Sarah Ann Lynch said, “Do as much as you can to show the citizens that there is an impact.” 

She continued, “There are things happening, but maybe people do not see it all the time. There are new roads being built. There are new buildings going up. There is a lot happening in the infrastructure sector, there is a lot happening in the education and health areas as well.” 

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Ambassador Lynch shared that one major project she was happy to be part of is the Mount Sinai Health Initiative which will see Hess Corporation – one of the three companies operating offshore – plugging US$30 million into a nationwide program to revolutionise public healthcare in Guyana.

The project involves three components. For the first, Mount Sinai will work closely with the Ministry of Health to strengthen primary healthcare across the country, including preventative care for diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers. The second component will include change management at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). For the third component, the government and private sector will work together to develop two centers of excellence for oncology and cardiovascular care for Guyana and the wider Caribbean.

“We [also] have a US company called Coursera here; they implement short-term, educational programmes, especially in the health area [so] I say there is a lot happening but the people need to see it,” she continued. 

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On the flip side, Ambassador Lynch noted too that citizens need to position themselves to take advantage of the opportunities being presented. And while there is a general desire to see swift change, “it does not always happen overnight.” 

She pointed out that some of the things that are being put into place will take years. “It is gonna be with a lot of hard work too. And I think citizens need to know that they need to be a part of it. But the government needs their ideas. They need their voices; they need their physical assistance. Guyana is small and has a small population so every citizen matters…improve your skills, see where you can fit in and take advantage of this new day in Guyana.”  

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