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Guyana's Poverty Reduction Strategy and Social Expenditure


  • Arjun S Bedi

    (SEOR-Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam)

  • Niek de Jong

    (Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands)


In 1997, Guyana started to receive debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. In 2001, to qualify for the Enhanced HIPC Initiative, Guyana developed a Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) that committed the country to a reorientation of its economic and social policies towards the objectives of the PRS and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Against this background, this article examines whether the HIPC initiatives and the accompanying PRS have translated into increases in the level and quality of social expenditure. We find that there has been a substantial increase in social spending since 1997. In terms of quality of expenditure, our analysis suggests that without further strengthening of institutions responsible for managing and monitoring public expenditure, debt relief is unlikely to provide more than temporary succour.En 1997, la Guyane est devenue bénéficiaire d′un allègement de ses dettes dans le cadre de l′initiative PPTE. En 2001, afin de pouvoir bénéficier de l′initiative PPTE renforcée, la Guyane élabora une Stratégie de Réduction de la Pauvreté (SRP) engageant le pays à mettre en œuvre une réorientation de ses politiques économiques et sociales au service des Objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement et de la réduction de la pauvreté. Le but de cet article est de déterminer si les initiatives PPTE et la SRP qui les a accompagnées, se sont traduites par des augmentations quantitative et qualitative des dépenses sociales. Nous constatons que les dépenses sociales ont augmenté substantiellement depuis 1997. Par contre, notre analyse suggère qu’en ce qui concerne la qualité des dépenses, si les institutions chargées de gérer et de contrôler les dépenses publiques ne sont pas renforcées davantage, l′allégement de la dette risque de ne procurer qu′un soulagement temporaire.

Suggested Citation

  • Arjun S Bedi & Niek de Jong, 2011. "Guyana's Poverty Reduction Strategy and Social Expenditure," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 23(2), pages 229-248, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:23:y:2011:i:2:p:229-248

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