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.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Guyana, heavily indebted, poverty reduction, quality of expenditure, social expenditure
Persistent URL,
Series ISS Staff Group 1: Economics of Sustainable Development
Journal The European Journal of Development Research
Bedi, A.S, & de Jong, N. (2011). Guyana’s Poverty Reduction Strategy and Social Expenditure. The European Journal of Development Research, 23(2), 229–248. doi:10.1057/ejdr.2010.31