Spain commits to post-hurricane economic recovery in CARICOM

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The Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) advocacy for resilient reconstruction within its Member States that were affected by the recent hurricanes, was positively acknowledged by the Government of Spain on Tuesday, 17 October, 2017.

A newly accredited Plenipotentiary Representative of the Spain to CARICOM, His Excellency Javier Carbajosa Sanchez, said his country “will certainly contribute through the institutional channels already established, to promote economic recovery.” This is in light of the loss of live and material damage cause by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

He was at the time presenting his letter of credence to the CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, at the CARICOM Secretariat headquarters in Georgetown Guyana. (more…)

Climate Change Vulnerability: OECD head meets with Prime Minister Allen Chastanet

Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Hon. Allen Chastanet and OECD Secretary General, His Excellency Angel Gurria

St. Lucia News Online – With climate change reality confronting the Caribbean, OECS Chairman and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Hon. Allen Chastanet has met with the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Secretary General H.E Angel Gurria to examine ways in which to bolster Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the region.

The meeting comes in the wake of three disastrous hurricanes, two of which decimated Dominica, the British Virgin Islands, Barbuda and Puerto Rico.

Speaking from OECD Headquarters in Paris, Prime Minister Chastanet said unprecedented events suggested that a new era of climate reality was upon the Caribbean and that an enhanced international development assistance framework was urgently needed to combat what was likely to be severe growing threats to the region.

“As one Caribbean family spread across Small Island Developing States (SIDS), we don’t lack resilience but we do lack disaster management resources and the meetings I have had with Secretary General Gurria has proven fruitful in fortifying OECD assistance” said Prime Minister Chastanet. (more…)

CARICOM ramps up advocacy for climate change financing (with video report)

New Austrian envoy to CARICOM, Her Excellency Marianne Feldman and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
New Austrian envoy to CARICOM, Her Excellency Marianne Feldman and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

The unparalleled destruction in CARICOM Member States by hurricanes Irma and Maria has heightened the urgency to advocate for meaningful assistance to mitigate the effects of extreme weather events.

Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, was poignant in emphasising to a new Ambassador of Austria, Her Excellency Marianne Feldmann, whom he accredited on Wednesday, 4 October, there was no doubt “climate change is here.”

In his remarks at the ceremony at the CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana, Secretary-General LaRocque recalled that Hurricane Irma devastated, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Anguilla, as well as St. Maarten and St. Barts. He noted that it caused significant damage in The Bahamas and affected St. Kitts and Nevis. Ten deaths were confirmed and a losses were pegged at US$2B according to preliminary estimates.

Just over two weeks later, Maria struck Dominica and left in its wake 27 confirmed deaths and more than 30 people missing. The scale of the devastation in Dominica was conveyed by massive destruction to property. More than 95 per cent of the island’s buildings were damaged or destroyed. The island’s agriculture sector and its lush rainforest were decimated. The cost of the damage in Dominica alone could run into billions of dollars.

Please see more photos of the Accreditation Ceremony 
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Emotional PM Minnis outlines plan to assist Dominicans

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis wipes away tears in the House of Assembly. (Photo via Terrel W Carey/Tribune staff)
Prime Minister Dr.Hubert Minnis wipes away tears in the House of Assembly. (Photo via Terrel W Carey/Tribune staff)

NASSAU, The Bahamas, Guardian – As he laid out a part of the government’s plan to assist Dominican children and their families today, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis choked back tears as he recounted the devastation that Hurricane Maria unleashed on the small island nation and expressed shame at the vitriolic response of some Bahamians to his pledge to assist Dominican students.

“My government proposes to temporarily relax the immigration laws for a number of school children from Dominica who wish to continue their education in The Bahamas,” said Minnis while addressing the House of Assembly.

“Permits to reside will be issued to students from Dominica who, with the approval of parents, wish to study in The Bahamas.

“There are three categories of students who may apply.

“One, children who have relatives in The Bahamas and who can find lodging and support from their family members.

“Two, college students who may wish to study at The University of The Bahamas and seek boarding at The University of The Bahamas.

“Three, children of parents employed in companies, banks, etc., which have offices in The Bahamas. Temporary employment transfers can be arranged with these institutions.”

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Health checks for CARICOM staff members during Caribbean Wellness Week

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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat’s corridors, Conference Room and Staff Lounge were transformed into one-stop mini-health clinics for a week in observance of Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) 2017. From September 11 – 15 members of staff of the Secretariat staff benefited from medical services and wellness activities at its Georgetown, Guyana, headquarters.

Love That Body: Securing a Future Generation through Eating Healthy and Not Smoking was the theme of this year’s observance.

Health care officials from Guyana’s Ministry of Health, St Joseph Mercy Hospital, Da Silva’s Optical and the Guyana School of Dentistry conducted health checks including; Body Mass Index (BMI) calculation, immunisations, blood pressure, glucose and HIV testing, as well as dental and vision screening.

Fun, interactive games were played to increase awareness of the importance of exercise. Seminars were also held on breast, cervical and prostate cancers; nutrition and exercise. Quite significantly, an Outpatient Clinic, outfitted with two doctors, was set up for staff to discuss health issues. Medication was available from a mini Pharmacy. The Georgetown Chest Clinic visited on Wednesday to brief staff on the latency of Tuberculosis and the importance of getting tested. The week’s activities wrapped up with a Zumba dance exercise activity on Thursday and a games afternoon featuring cricket, football table tennis and scrabble on Friday, September 15.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, are not passed from person to person and are of long duration and generally of slow progression. The five main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases (e.g. heart attacks and stroke), certain cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma), type 2 diabetes, and mental disorders. (Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases)
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