Remittances to developing countries decline for second consecutive year

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Remittances to developing countries fell for a second consecutive year in 2016, a trend not seen in three decades, says the latest edition of the Migration and Development Brief, released on Friday the World Bank’s Spring Meetings.

The Bank estimates that officially recorded remittances to developing countries amounted to $429 billion in 2016, a decline of 2.4 percent over $440 billion in 2015. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, contracted by 1.2 percent to $575 billion in 2016, from $582 billion in 2015.

Low oil prices and weak economic growth in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Russian Federation are taking a toll on remittance flows to South Asia and Central Asia, while weak growth in Europe has reduced flows to North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The decline in remittances, when valued in U.S. dollars, was made worse by a weaker euro, British pound and Russian ruble against the U.S. dollar.
Read more at: World Bank

Meeting with Queen, Caribbean Council’s reception atop President Granger’s agenda on UK visit

Guyana_President-David-Granger-profileGeorgetown, Guyana – (April 23, 2017) President David Granger has departed Guyana for a visit to the United Kingdom from April 24-28, 2017, where he will have an audience with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. In addition to his meeting with the Queen at Windsor Castle on Wednesday, the Head of State will also attend the Caribbean Council’s Annual Reception at the House of Lords.

The President will deliver an address at that reception, which will be held on Tuesday evening, along with the Rt Hon. Lord Bruce of Bennachie, Minister of State, Baroness Anelay and Dr. Angus McCoss, Exploration Director at Tullow Oil.

The Annual Reception provides an opportunity for Members of Parliament, Peers, High Commissioners, Ambassadors, members of the UK civil service, non-governmental organisations, members of the Caribbean diaspora and businesses invested in or interested in investing in the Caribbean Region to network, with a view to supporting the Region’s economic development.

President Granger, who is accompanied on the visit by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge, will also meet with members of the UK Government, the British business community and the Guyanese diaspora in London. (Ministry of the Presidency Press Release)

CARICOM extends sympathy to families of victims of recent terror attacks

Chair of CARICOM, His Excellency David Granger, President of Guyana
Chair of CARICOM, His Excellency David Granger, President of Guyana

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has extended its sympathy to the families of persons killed in recent brutal attacks in Sweden and Egypt, stating that incidents such as these served to strengthen the resolve of the international community to defeat terrorism in all its forms.

The attack in Stockholm, Sweden on 7 April in which a lorry was ploughed into pedestrians, claimed the lives of four persons from Sweden, Belgium and Great Britain.

CARICOM Chairman, President  of Guyana, His Excellency David Granger, in a message of condolence, condemned the attack, noting that the “senseless savagery” had “no place in a civilized world.”  He assured Sweden of CARICOM’s solidarity and empathy as the country recovered from the  ‘heartless assault’ while wishing a full and speedy recovery to those injured. (more…)

First IAEA-CDEMA meeting takes place at IAEA headquarters, Vienna

Delegates at the meeting, At centre if Mr. Ronald Jackson, CDEMA Executive Director
Delegates at the meeting, At centre if Mr. Ronald Jackson, CDEMA Executive Director

The first meeting between the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), a regional inter-governmental agency, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is taking place from 19-21 April 2017 in Vienna, Austria. CDEMA comprises eighteen participating states from the Caribbean and provides the primary coordination of emergency response and relief efforts in the region.

The meeting brings together high level CDEMA representatives, including the Executive Director of CDEMA, Mr Ronald Jackson, and IAEA staff members from the Technical Cooperation Division for Latin America and the Caribbean (TCLAC), the IAEA Incident and Emergency Centre and the Division of Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety.

At the opening, Mr. Luis Longoria, Director, TCLAC, highlighted the importance of this meeting.

“It is a great opportunity to identify areas for cooperation between our agencies in the future, to support countries in the Caribbean in their efforts in emergency preparedness and response,” he said.

Read more at: International Atomic Agency

Tradewinds to address security threats

From left to right: Assistant Commissioner of Police, William Yearwood; Chief of Office of Security Operation in the U.S. Military Liaison Office, Lt. Col. Jorge Jaramillio; Host nation Co-director, Major Carlos Lovell; Host nation Co-Director, Kerry Hinds; and RSS Director of Training, retired Captain Brian Roberts at today’s media launch for Exercise Tradewinds 2017. (Photo by C.Pitt via BGIS)
From left to right: Assistant Commissioner of Police, William Yearwood; Chief of Office of Security Operation in the U.S. Military Liaison Office, Lt. Col. Jorge Jaramillio; Host nation Co-director, Major Carlos Lovell; Host nation Co-Director, Kerry Hinds; and RSS Director of Training, retired Captain Brian Roberts at today’s media launch for Exercise Tradewinds 2017. (Photo by C.Pitt via BGIS)

Barbados’ emergency forces will grapple with staged situations dealing with the threats of transnational organised crime, terrorism and natural hazards when Exercise Tradewinds 2017 takes place across the country from June 6 to 12.

Under the theme: Seamless States Partnership for a Secure Region, the length and breadth of the island will be tested during Phase One of the regional exercise.

The plans for Exercise Tradewinds 2017 were rolled out during a media launch at the Hodgson Hall, St. Ann’s Fort today.

Host Nation Co-Director of the regional exercise, Major Carlos Lovell, said this year’s scenario will feature transnational organised crime, terrorism and natural hazards causing national and regional crises.

Firing at sea. (Photo via BGIS)
Firing at sea. (Photo via BGIS)

Read more at: Barbados Government Information Service