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

Bolstering Resilience for Vulnerable Countries

Chair of the Community, and Chair of the World Bank Small States Forum, Prime Minster of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell
In light of the devastation caused by the recent hurricanes, and the anticipation of more frequent events of a similar nature, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) held an official COP23 Side Event on ‘Bolstering Resilience for Vulnerable Countries Facing Acute Risks and Sustainable Development Challenges’ on Tuesday, 13 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany.

The reality of increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters could exacerbate already high debt levels across the Region, particularly in the absence of development support.

Prime Minister of Grenada, Chair of the World Bank Small States Forum and Chairman of CARICOM, Dr. The Rt. Honourable Keith Mitchell, stressed the severity of the region’s plight using Dominica as an example – still not fully recovered from Tropical Storm Erika, which struck in 2015, the country was devastated by hurricane Maria in September of this year.

Read more at: OECS Press Room

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

How to build back better after a hurricane with the next one a few months away

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OP-ED By Irwin LaRocque and Achim Steiner*

CARICOM SG, Irwin LaRocque
Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator

 Imagine relocating the entire population of your country in the face of a colossal hurricane and two months later still not being able to get back home. Now imagine spending several nights in a shelter and taking a stroll the next morning only to find what you used to call community, city or country reduced to an apocalyptic scene.

This is no fiction. Irma and Maria, two back-to-back category 5 hurricanes, the most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic, swept across the Caribbean in September, cutting a swathe of destruction, taking lives, devastating infrastructure and severely damaging the economies of small climate-vulnerable countries.

Entire islands were decimated, like Barbuda, the smaller of the two-island state of Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica, both Members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands were also devastated while The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands were severely affected. Haiti and St Kitts and Nevis also suffered damage. All of the islands are Members or Associate Members of CARICOM.

The island of St Marten, divided between Sint Maarten, a constituent country of the Kingdom of Netherlands and St Martin, a dependency of France as well as Cuba and the Dominican Republic were impacted, in addition to Puerto Rico and Florida, in the United States. (more…)

‘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).