Strong CARICOM support for hurricane ravaged Dominica

DKaAnWGUMAYsKFi
CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (centre in light clothing) poses with regional hurricane relief workers
IMG-20170923-WA0002_1506203938577[135219]
Barbados coast guard vessel arrives in Dominica
The Governments and people of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States continue to actively support their sister country Dominica following Monday night’s devastating passage of Category 5 Hurricane Maria.

“We’ve lost all that money can buy”, Prime Minister Roosevelt had disclosed after surveying the widespread damage to houses and infrastructure.  A number of deaths have also been reported.

The government of close neighbour Antigua and Barbuda, while still itself in recovery mode from another Category Five Hurricane, Irma’s destructive passage over Barbuda, made an immediate pledge of US$300,000, to which Tourism Minister Asot Michael added a further US$100,000.  Antigua-Barbuda’s state and private broadcast media, in particular ABS Radio and TV have been providing a critical connection between Dominica’s residents and the rest of the world, especially  during the period when all broadcast and internet services were down. ABS TV  provided the first broadcast by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to the world after his initial aerial tour of the devastation.

  VIDEO: Prime Minister Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados was also quick out the blocks, putting two coast guard vessels at Dominica’s disposal to help transport technical personnel and supplies. The vessels left Bridgetown loaded with water and other emergency supplies donated by Barbadians in heavily supported collection drives.  Barbados has also arranged to provide much needed doctors and nurses to assist with critical medical services.

IMG-20170923-WA0006_1506203937717[135215]
Emergency supplies arrive via coast guard vessel
With rural communities cut off by damaged or blocked roadways, Trinidad and Tobago’s helicopter service proved critical for transporting emergency personnel and assessment teams to the remote villages for damage assessment, to extract the injured and stranded, and to deliver  emergency supplies. Trinidad and Tobago had previously  provided its helicopter  to the Antigua and Barbuda government to assist with emergency services between Antigua and sister-island Barbuda which lost more than 90 percent of its houses to Hurricane Irma and which, as a result, had to be totally evacuated. The Trinidad and Tobago government also announced that it will waive the immigration requirements for residents of Dominica for a period of six months as the CARICOM Member State rebuilds.

The Dominica Government welcomed contingents of police officers from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Jamaica among others to assist with security during this recovery period. Grenada announced that a detachment from its Special Services Unit has joined an earlier team of communication and logistics officers supporting the CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU).  Jamaica made available 120 members of its Defence Force Disaster Response Team to help with maintaining public order, engineering, relief distribution and damage assessment.  Saint Lucia’s police contingent was joined by fire and rescue officers as well as disaster assessment officials from the country’s National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO).   (more…)

CDB introduces Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund to regional practitioners at CARIFESTA XIII

CARIFESTA_XIII-LOGO-WHITE-GLOW

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

August 22, 2017, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Building on the recent announcement of its provision of initial capitalisation for the Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) recently introduced the CIIF to approximately 100 cultural practitioners, policymakers and academics from across the Caribbean. The occasion was the Cultural Policy and Intellectual Property Rights Workshop, held as part of CARIFESTA XIII in Barbados on Sunday August 20, 2017, sponsored by CDB.

Lisa Harding, Private Sector Development Specialist, CDB, noted that the CIIF was developed to support an enabling environment for the development of the cultural industries sector, and could make the cost of doing business more affordable for Regional cultural practitioners.

This Fund is born out of the fact that we recognise there’s a void in the financing ecosystem. There are gaps, especially in grant funding for creative industry entrepreneurs and stakeholders in general. We consulted with several stakeholders to come up with a model that we believe will help to support the sector. The areas which the Fund will cover are music, audio-visual, film, animation and gaming, fashion and design and festivals and carnivals,” said Harding.

(more…)