Guyana has a population of around 750,000, concentrated mainly in its coastal areas. Inland are areas of savannah and pristine rainforest. It has a small open economy with a domestic market, but there is high unemployment and many skilled workers emigrate. In total, DFID has allocated £75 million for the Caribbean from 2011 until 2015. As part of this, Guyana will benefit from our regional programmes to help the Caribbean prepare for and reduce the risk from climate change and disasters. The UK also contributes to multilateral organisations that carry out a wide range of projects and programmes in the Caribbean. In 2010, UK contributions that benefited Guyana amounted to £2,810,000. Most people in Guyana live close to the coast, vulnerable to the threats of storms, flooding and rising sea levels. DFID is helping vulnerable people across the Caribbean to be better prepared and equipped to withstand these threats, including through training and practical measures such as safer buildings and better preparedness. We are also developing affordable insurance for small businesses and farmers to protect their assets and livelihoods when disaster strikes. We are helping governments in the Caribbean region to plan ahead for possible disasters and to integrate risk reduction into their policy and investment decisions, for example through an economic impact assessment of climate change on the agricultural, health and coastal settlements sectors in Guyana. Knowing what problems might arise will make it easier for the country to make a case for action, mobilise resources to scale up their efforts and ensure development gains are not lost. In line with its aim of reducing poverty, DFID is also contributing from its regional budget to three major programmes designed to create jobs and increase exports across the Caribbean: £10 million for the COMPETE Caribbean scheme, delivered jointly with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency, which will reduce red tape, streamline regulation, and help local firms break into new markets £10 million for CARTFund, a special fund to help Caribbean countries and their own regional integration initiative, CSME (the CARICOM Single Market and Economy) take advantage of a trade deal with the European Union. CARTFund helps in testing for product standards and provides support to the tourism, speciality foods and accounting sectors £4 million contribution to CARTAC, the IMF regional technical assistance mission. This provides advice and training for all English-speaking countries in macroeconomic management, monetary and taxation policy, statistics and debt management. CARTFund has agreed to support the introduction of an electronic single window facility for processing imports and exports to make trading in Guyana more efficient. It is also supporting a Competition and Consumer Protection Commission that will create a better environment for businesses and consumers. COMPETE is helping the services sector in Guyana to become more competitive by identifying, analysing and developing a road-map to unblock the main constraints to doing business in the services sector and helping firms find investors and enter new export markets. DFID has also supported the development of Guyana’s aquaculture sector with a tilapia hatchery and support to a collective of local businesswomen raising fish.
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