Strong CARICOM support for post hurricane Pledging Conference

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CARICOM Member States and Associate Members provided strong support for the CARICOM-UN High Level Pledging Conference for hurricane-ravaged countries at the UN Headquarters in New York Monday.

The objective of this Conference is two-fold. It is to mobilise international support and commitment of pledges to help rebuild the countries ravaged by the recent hurricanes and  to assist the Region to build resilience, given its inherent vulnerabilities.

Further information on the conference can be found at:  http://resilientcaribbean.caricom.org/

Free Movement Of Labour – Holness urges greater cooperation within CARICOM

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said that the threat that climate change poses to Caribbean countries should spur regional leaders to work towards greater cooperation among states across the region.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness addressing the IMF High Level Caribbean Forum yesterday.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness addressing the IMF High Level Caribbean Forum yesterday.

Speaking yesterday at the sixth High Level Caribbean Forum, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, Holness said that there was a tendency for regional states to focus on the free movement of goods without making a connection with the free movement of labour.

“It becomes a particular concern when viewed against the backdrop of natural disasters. Can you imagine a sustained fallout in our sister islands? How will those economies recover if there is not a mechanism to allow the free movement of labour, even temporarily, to help in the recovery and relief efforts?” Holness questioned.

He said that after the recent impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, many students from some countries in the Eastern Caribbean had to complete their studies in sister Caribbean territories that had not been affected.

“It is this capacity for our respective economies and countries to open our societies, open our schools, that will give us, collectively, the ability to respond to disasters and crises,” he added.

 

Read More: Jamaica Gleaner

IMF willing to help hurricane-ravaged Caribbean countries — Lagarde

IMF-Andrew 1KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, says her organisation is willing to help the Caribbean countries severely affected by the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“The IMF stands ready to do whatever it can to help in those situations — in assessing macroeconomic implications, determining financing needs, and providing financial support that would also help catalyse broader financing from the rest of the international community,” she said.

Lagarde was speaking at the opening session of the Sixth IMF High Level Caribbean Forum held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston today.

She noted that emergency relief following events like hurricanes is a key responsibility of the global community.

More: Jamaica Observer

‘Looming’ issue of de-risking in Region remains high on CFATF agenda

Delegates at the CFATF Meeting in Georgetown, Guyana (Photo via Department of Public Information)

Executive Director of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), Calvin Wilson has said that de-risking or the loss of correspondent banking relations is looming largely across the Caribbean region because of what is being perceived by international financial institutions as “high-risk jurisdictions operating in a high-risk region.”

Wilson is disagreeing with this perception on the basis that many of the countries have taken stringent steps to correct the deficiencies in their Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, during their mutual evaluations. He disclosed that many of the formerly high-risk countries are now compliant or “largely compliant” with the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Obesity, physical inactivity put women at excess risk of diabetes

Diabetes: a blood glucose test is used to check the level of sugar in the blood of this woman. Photo: WHO/PAHO/Sebastián Oliel
Diabetes: a blood glucose test is used to check the level of sugar in the blood of this woman. Photo: WHO/PAHO/Sebastián Oliel

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. 17 November 2017.   Diabetes, a major contributor to premature death, is estimated to affect 10-15% of the adult population in the Caribbean Region. The disease is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke and responsible for high rates of complications, such as lower limb amputation.

The risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes are obesity (Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥30), abdominal obesity, physical inactivity, tobacco smoking, unhealthy diets and metabolic syndrome. Obesity is the strongest modifiable risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes in the Caribbean.

CARPHA Director for Surveillance, Prevention and Control Dr. Virginia Asin-Oostburg has said, “Studies have revealed that women in the Caribbean have higher rates of obesity in terms of BMIs compared to men.  They also have higher rates of abdominal obesity, and likely to be 3 times more obese than men.” She also stated that, “Obesity and physical inactivity put women at excess risk of diabetes. This is confirmed by the very high levels of diabetes among women in the Region.”  (more…)