In January 2005, heavy rainfall caused catastrophic flooding along Guyana's coasts, affecting 290,000 people – almost half of Guyana’s population. Total flood damage was estimated at $465 million, or nearly 60 percent of the country’s GDP, prompting the government to work towards increasing its capacity to manage flood risk.
The government of Guyana, working with the World Bank, initiated the GEF-funded $3.8 million Conservancy Adaptation Project (CAP) to address catastrophic flood risks in Guyana's coastal areas. The project strengthened understanding of the coastal drainage system and water conservancy, improved drainage infrastructure, pinpointed key strategic interventions to reduce flood risk and built institutional capacity.
A parallel technical assistance project, Strengthening Guyana’s Coastal Land’s Information Systems and Adaptation Awareness, enabled policymakers, stakeholders and the general public to be fully informed of efforts to understand and strengthen flood control systems, heighten awareness of flood risks, and explain the technologies used to mitigate these risks.
The funding of $260,000 for the technical assistance project was provided by the European Union (EU) in the framework of the Africa Caribbean Pacific (ACP) - EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction (NDRR) Program.