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Assessment of Development Results - Guyana

image of Assessment of Development Results - Guyana

The evaluation recommended that it is important for UNDP Guyana to continue to reorient its programming towards higher-level policy analysis in order to support the country’s transition to a middle-income status. Also, UNDP needs to focus on its comparative advantage, and help Guyana explore alternative sources of support through South-South, regional and public-private partnerships.

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Executive summary

Located on the north eastern coast of South America with a landmass of 214,969 square kilometers, Guyana is the only English-speaking country on the continent and had an estimated population of 736,000 persons in 2008. The population is concentrated in a narrow coastal belt bordering the Atlantic Ocean, an area that occupies only 10 percent of Guyana’s land mass. Approximately 76.7 percent of Guyana’s land surface is covered by dense forest, where scattered communities of the native Amerindian population live. Guyana’s small population is composed of six different ethnic groups, the largest of which are those of East Indian descent, who are about 43.4 percent of the population, and Afro-Guyanese with about 30.2 percent. The other main groups are mixed race (16.7 percent), native Amerindians (9.2 percent) and the Chinese, Europeans and others totaling 0.3 percent. The country’s economy is traditionally based on three main export commodities: sugar, rice and minerals such as gold and bauxite. The agricultural sector, which is mainly sugar and rice production, is the major contributor to Guyana’s economy with about 30 percent of GDP in 2007, followed by industry (mainly mining and manufacturing) with 23 percent, and services (including the public sector) comprising about 47 percent. Environmental issues are of particular importance in Guyana due to its key role in global forestry conservation as evidenced by recent launch of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

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