Haitian delegation visits Barbados to prepare for CARIFESTA XIII

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Haitian delegation
(L-R) Stephanie St. Louis and Philippe Dodard from Haiti, John Hunte Artistic Coordinator for Barbados, Andrea Wells Festival Director, Francine Charles Marketing Coordinator., Kim Butcher Programme Coordinator and David Reeves Logistics Coordinator for CARIFESTA XIII as they get down to fine tuning the details for the Haiti delegation.

As preparations for CARIFESTA XIII intensify, visiting delegations are also stepping up their plans to go to Barbados. Over the past weekend, the local CARIFESTA Secretariat welcomed a group from Haiti who visited the island to solidify plans for the upcoming Festival.

Phillippe Dodard Directeur General, Ecole Nationale Des Arts (Director General of the National Arts School) and Stephanie St. Louis Directrice à la Creation Artistique et Litteraire Ministére de la Culture (Director of Creative Art and Literature in the Ministry of Culture) met with Festival Director Andrea Wells and other local officials to firm up the plans for their own delegation which is expected to be between 80 and 100 persons.

At the meeting, they learnt of the programming for the 13th iteration of the Festival, and looked at locations where their delegation will be performing. The large contingent, which is going to be staggered in its attendance, will have persons coming in time to participate in the Opening Ceremony. Another group will head to Barbados for the Closing Ceremony. (more…)

Get active, diet, to reduce NCDs – PM Holness

Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is encouraging the regional populace to get active and diet to reduce non communicable diseases (NCDs).

See the Facebook post the Prime Minister made earlier today (Wednesday 12 July, 2017):

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Urgent action required to curb chronic NCDs – PM Harris

Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris
Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris

Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 11, 2017 (SKNIS):  Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) continue to take a toll on CARICOM Member States, and urgent action is required to curb the threat of such diseases, said Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, during National Assembly on Tuesday, July 11.

Prime Minister Harris was updating the general public and the listening audience on the 38th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, held in Grenada from July 4-6, where he was given the opportunity to present a study on the economic ramifications of NCDs as it relates to Trinidad and Tobago. A similar study was also done in Barbados and Jamaica.

“The study estimated that five per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is being lost by the impact of preventable diabetes, hypertension and cancer. Half of that five per cent is direct medical care cost and the other half is in the loss of productivity,” said Prime Minister Harris, adding that if one was to examine the growth pattern of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean region over the last 10 plus years, they would not find that the country would have grown by five percent.

“Therefore, when in fact five per cent of the economy is being impacted negatively with respect to NCDs, this is a major cause for concern. The costs here are significant and they are as unsustainable for any country. Importantly, these diseases are preventable impediments to growth.”

(more…)

Regional statistics strategy preparation gets nod from CARICOM Heads

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Prime Minister Keith Mitchell addresses the Board Meeting
Prime Minister Keith Mitchell
“We believe that the Region’s Strategy for the Development of Statistics will embody a huge basket of activities and will respond to the statistical needs of the CARICOM Region…” -CARICOM Chair, Dr. Keith Mitchell
As the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) continues to take steps to ensure that its decision-making is underpinned by quality data, Heads of Government last week endorsed the preparation of the Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics (RSDS), one of the key aspects of the Action Plan for Statistics in the Caribbean. The Action Plan was endorsed by Heads of Government at their Thirty-Seventh Meeting last year.


Improvements in the availability of statistics for evidence-based decision-making, sustainable development of Member States, and the empowerment of citizens to hold governments accountable, are among the highlights of the Plan.

The RSDS will play a strategic role in strengthening statistics and improving its availability for evidence-based decision-making and will constitute a shared foundation upon which statistical capacity in the Region will be developed.

The Strategy will also cater for the additional demands that will be made of statistical offices to fulfill obligations related to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the Community Strategic Plan 2015-2019, the United Nations 2030 Development Agenda and the the SIDS Accelerated Modalities for Action (SAMOA) Pathway. In this regard the strengthening of national statistics offices across the Region is a key component of the Action Plan. (more…)