In October 2014 the European Union (EU) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) committed to support the efforts of the Government of Guyana to improve the quality and delivery of reliable water supply and also to strengthen the reliability and efficiency of electricity service delivery. In this regard, representatives of both organizations had met at the IDB’s headquarters in Washington, DC on October 10, 2014 to sign the loan and investment grant agreement with the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. At the time and in the framework of the agreement, the EU contributed to the partnership with USD 7.49 Million towards the Power Utility Upgrade Programme (PUUP), and USD 6.3 Million towards the Water Supply and Sanitation Infrastructure Improvement Program (WSSIIP). These funds were disbursed to the IDB to act as the contracting authority for works under the PUUP and WSSIIP.
In September 2018, additional payments from the EU contribution totalling USD 17.3 Million were disbursed to the IDB towards the Power Utility Upgrade Programme (PUUP), and Water Supply and Sanitation Infrastructure Improvement Program (WSSIIP).
In recognizing the delivery of the EU grant disbursement, EU Ambassador to Guyana, Jernej Videtič highlighted that both the EU and the IDB recognized the need to assist Guyana’s further development through investments in the energy and water sectors and therefore allocated USD 40.4 Million through the Caribbean Investment Facility to address the priority needs of the sectors. Videtič stressed that in the energy sector, work will focus on strengthening the management capacity of GPL, increasing operational efficiency and reducing commercial and technical losses. This will necessitate the rehabilitation of distribution lines network in Georgetown and Region IV and will benefit the population living in the coastland Regions IV and V. He further added that in the water sector work on strengthening the performance of the Guyana Water Incorporated, improving water pressure, quality and continuity of supply as well as reducing non-revenue water losses will be undertaken. The EU Ambassador highlighted that an important aspect will be an improved access to sanitation for low-income households. The construction of 3 new water treatment plants at Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara, Sheet Anchor in Berbice and Uitvlugt on the West Coast of Demerara coupled with major rehabilitation works of the water treatment plant at Shelterbelt, Georgetown is also part of the project. At least 55,300 households will benefit from upgraded access to drinking water.