UNDP’s report on Guyana shows improved Human Development


I was so disappointed to read the Kaieteur News’ headline “Despite eight years of consecutive growth….Guyana lags behind LatAm, Caribbean in Human Development.”The headline was disappointing, primarily because it made clear its unpatriotic and biased disdain for anything that shows progress in Guyana.
I looked at several newscasts that showed clips of the Minister making the point that Guyana is not exactly where it should be in comparison to the Region, but the Human Development Index [HDI] needs to be looked at within the context of Guyana’s history.
The numbers indicate that in 1980 Guyana’s HDI was relative to its regional counterparts at 0.516, but by 1990 that number fell to .505. Guyana’s HDI was among the lowest in the Region while our counterparts were continuing their upward climb!
When the current administration took office, it inherited the lowest levels of life expectancy, education, gender equality, access to health care etc. By 1992, the PPP Government had to essentially put Guyana on a road that was long and successfully travelled by regional countries. When we were now starting the race to a high HDI, countries like Trinidad, Barbados and Jamaica were years ahead of us.
So when Kaieteur News is going to run the headline it did, it begs the question of 1: Are their reporters illiterates because they cannot understand how to interpret and analyze data? Or 2: Is it just that the editors are malicious and unpatriotic dunces who want to project Guyana as such a poor, non-progressive country?    How can the Kaieteur News, in good conscience, write about the lack of investor confidence, when it is Kaieteur News that is damaging the image of Guyana!
Kaieteur News has a clear trend of promoting everything that is unhealthy for Guyana. Not only does it attack large scale projects that are intended to benefit the country, such as the Marriott Hotel, Speciality Hospital, CJIA expansion and Amaila Falls Hydro Projects, but it also serves as the vehicle to attack our professional workforce that is essential to the development of Guyana.

Kaieteur News needs to act responsibly and recognise that it shares the moral and ethical responsibility to the people of Guyana, like all patriotic Guyanese, to contribute to our nation’s development. It is not just the responsibility of Government to promote and develop Guyana, it is every citizen’s responsibility. I am not suggesting that Kaieteur News pretend that everything is fine and dandy with Government or Guyana.But when there is good news, when there is positive news, let us put aside our political differences and biases and celebrate our victories as a united Guyana.

Guyana did well in the Human Development Report. Our growth for the year, when compared to other regional countries, was actually higher than most. We have more gender equality, more educated citizens, a higher life expectancy and a booming economy compared to previous years. There is still work to be done, but there is much to celebrate and to be proud of, given our damaged history.

Richard Paul