CARICOM and USAID sign US$165 million agreement

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CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (c) welcomes US Ambassador to CARICOM Perry Holloway to the signing ceremony, while Mission Director, USAID, Eastern and Southern Caribbean, Christopher Cushing looks on.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) today signed agreements representing US$165 million development assistance support from the United States Government to the Eastern and Southern Caribbean.

CARICOM Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean Mission Director, Christopher Cushing, initialed the five-year Development Objective Agreements (DOAGs) during a brief ceremony at the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana. U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, was among several dignitaries witnessing the signing.

In delivering brief remarks, Ambassador Holloway stated: “The United States Government and USAID are pleased to partner with CARICOM in these initiatives which will improve the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable groups including youth and socially marginalised populations. Our success over the years has been possibile largely due to the support of our partners, without whom implementation would not be possible. CARICOM, by virtue of its committment to improving the economic, social, cultural and technological advancement of Caribbean people remains a beacon in this regard.”

Ambassador La Rocque, in welcoming the partnership initiative noted:  “These Agreements are rendering assistance in areas that have been identified as critical to the well-being of our citizens. Combatting the challenges posed by Climate Change, HIV/Aids and crime and violence, with reference to youth participation, is right at the forefront of the issues facing our Community today.”

Today’s signing  spearheads USAID’s 2015-2019 Regional Development Cooperation Strategy that covers Youth, HIV/AIDS and Climate Change programming in Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Kitts & Nevis, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, and Guyana.  An estimated $89 million will target the reduction of youth involvement in crime and violence in target communities, while $52 million is designated to achieving epidemic control of HIV/AIDS among key populations. An additional $31 million is being directed towards reducing the risks to human and natural assets resulting from climate vulnerability.



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