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Guyana lies 1.2 m below sea level and has extensive but variable rainfall which makes the country prone to natural disasters such as floods and droughts. The country’s susceptibility to natural disasters is further increased by the impact of changing weather patterns due to climate change and global warming, and is compounded by the fact that almost 90% of the population lives along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean where flooding is more likely to occur. In January 2005, floods devastated coastal areas killing 34 people and affecting more than 37% of the population.  As a result, the total loss in terms of economic activity was equivalent to $465 million US dollars.

Over the last decade, UNDP Guyana has supported Guyana in its efforts to reduce the risk of natural disasters by working with national institutions, the private sector and civil society to develop human, financial, technical and legislative capacities. In 2009, UNDP launched a four-year project to strengthen national capacity and ensure that the country could reduce natural disasters and be better equipped to deal with them.

UNDP Guyana has also helped address the root causes of conflict through development programmes that promote participation, dispute resolution and gender equality.



Disaster Risk Reduction
UNDP‘s approach to reducing the risks to Guyana includes:

  • Embedding the principles of prevention, response and recovery into a risk assessment and disaster awareness programme.
  • Ensuring that all partners including local communities, national institutions, international organisations and the private sector play their part.
  • Fully considering all prevailing natural hazards and technical or man-made risks.
  • Making sure that disaster risk reduction is prominent on the overall development agenda.

Conflict Prevention
UNDP Guyana’s work on conflict prevention and peace-building focuses on enhancing community-level discussions by bringing together the relevant individuals and institutions including the government, political parties, the private sector and community-based groups in order to achieve lasting peace and security.

UNDP Guyana tackles conflict prevention in three ways by:

  • Focusing on preventing conflicts across all development projects;
  • Providing tools, advice and financial support to develop national institutions and processes for conflict management; and
  • Building understanding and agreement through dialogue.


Current Projects



  • A flood Management Plan for the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC) was developed in 2005. An emergency radio communication system was established; EDWC and CDC staff received training in how to implement the plan and how to use the radio system.
  • Drainage channels from the EDWC dam to the coast were restored. Equipment for the EDWC repair force was provided and damages to outlets in the sea defense were also repaired during 2005.
  • Relief items were supplied in response to the 2005 floods, including eight boats to transport aid to affected inland communities. The main beneficiaries were children, the elderly and people remaining in their homes, including those living in temporary shelters.
  • The National Emergency Operations Centre was refurbished and equipped with a boat, trailer, IT equipment and furniture to strengthen emergency response capacity.
  • The Social Cohesion Programme contributed significantly to the peaceful elections of 2006 in Guyana.


Plans for the future

  • Review and update the National Disaster Preparedness Plan as well as other respective plans in most vulnerable communities. Train communities to manage disaster response and implement risk mitigation micro-projects.
  • Enhance the Disaster Response Preparedness system nationally and within communities.
  • Strengthen legal and institutional frameworks to achieve effective Disaster Risks Reduction.
  • Continue to implement initiatives with governmental and non-governmental partners in local communities and work towards achieving a safer and more secure citizenry



"The Guyana Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Progress Report 2011 is a key monitoring instrument to access various socio-economic policies.  The overall aim of the Report is to track and analyse the country's progress towards the achievement of the MDGs, but on a wider level, it serves as a report on national efforts to reduce poverty.  The findings of the Report are expected to influence Government processes, decision-making and resource mobilization and allocation efforts.  Furthermore, the key findings as a means to both enlighten and heighten development discussions among all national stakeholders, including Guyana development partners."


Click here to download the report.




“The advantage of economic growth is not that wealth increases happiness, but that it increases the range of human choice.”1 These words were written in 1955 by Arthur Lewis, a Caribbean scholar and Nobel laureate in economics who made an important contribution to the development debate and development policy in the Caribbean and elsewhere. It is a profoundly people-centred approach to economic growth that prefigured the later debates on human development.


Click here to download the report.


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