Caribbean felt full brunt of climate change in 2017

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Dominica hurricane

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,  CMC – In 2017, the Caribbean felt the full brunt of climate change with a warning that current trends indicate that there will be no respite.

Within a two-week period, Hurricanes Irma and Maria brought home the reality of the impact of climate change as they churned their way across the Lesser Antilles destroying everything in their paths. Hurricane Harvey had in August set the stage for what was to come; with devastation in Houston, Texas, amounting to nearly US$200billion.

“The unprecedented nature of this climatic event highlights the unusual nature of weather patterns that continue to affect nations across the globe,” the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said in a message to United States President Donald Trump, as Harvey made landfall in the United States after whipping up strong winds and heavy rains in the Caribbean.

It took less than a month for his statement to bear fruit. Hurricanes Irma and Maria, two Category 5 storms left so many Caribbean islands devastated in September that the CARICOM Chairman and Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said “there can be no question that for us in the Caribbean, climate change is an existential threat”. (more…)

Human Resource Development Strategy gets green light

HRD Heads 2017
Minister of Education, St. Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Shawn Richards, Director General, of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States H.E. Dr. Didacus Jules, and Director, Human Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, Ms. Myrna Bernard, participate in discussions on the Human Resource Development Strategy during the Summit


The CARICOM Heads of Government have approved a Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy and Action Plan. The strategy is intended to form the basis for converged action by Member States in unlocking Caribbean human potential. This disclosure was made by Chairman of the CARICOM Conference of the Heads and Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. Keith Mitchell, at the closing press conference following the  38th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Grenada. According to Prime Minister Mitchell, the strategy will allow the people of the Region, as they progress from their earliest years to senior adulthood, to reach their full potential in their personal and working lives, contributing to their families, communities, national and regional development.

“At the heart of the strategy is the prioritisation of the construction, by 2030, of a globally competitive innovative and seamlessly integrated education system to drive inclusive sustainable development in our Region. The strategy would support and guide critical transformation in HRD sectors regionally and align them more closely with expectations of the needs and imperatives of the development of the 21st century”, he said.


Suriname energy sector gets US$50M CDB loan

Suriname energy

The Energy Sector in Suriname is set to benefit from a loan valued at US$50M approved by the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Board of Directors on Monday.

The Policy-Based Loan to the Republic of Suriname was provided to urgently address the country’s fiscal imbalances, through support for energy sector reforms.

Suriname has already begun implementing a series of institutional, policy and legislative reforms to stabilise the economy, primarily to address the challenge of a weak operational, policy and regulatory environment in the energy sector. CDB’s loan assists the Government of Suriname with its adjustment programme.

 CDB recognises the urgent need for significant reform within Suriname’s energy sector, which has tremendous potential to transform the economy,” said Dr. Justin Ram, Director of Economics, CDB.


HRD Commission showcased on Mornin’ Barbados ahead of launch today

In preparation for the launch of the Commission, Director, Human Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, Ms. Myrna Bernard, and Member of the CARICOM Human Resource Development Commission and President of the Caribbean Employers’ Confederation, Mr. Wayne Chen, had a sit down with programme host of Mornin’ Barbados Ms. Cassandra Crawford Thursday morning.

The discussion on the breakfast programme focused on issues such as the purpose of the Commission, activities that the Commission will embark upon and the CARICOM Secretariat’s role as coordinator.

The HRD Strategy, which the Commission will shape, is intended to form the basis for converged action by Member States. It is expected that the Commission will also develop policy recommendations for education reform in CARICOM Member States.


CDB provides funds for major education project in Suriname

Suriname TVET
Officials from CDB and the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Suriname at the launch of the E-TVET Project. From left to right: Dr. Idamay Denny, Portfolio Manager, CDB; Natasia Bennanon, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Culture; Patricia McKenzie, Vice President (Operations), CDB; Hon. Robert Peneux, Minister of Education, Science and Culture; Deidre Clarendon, Division Chief, Social Sector Division, CDB; Dr. Marie Levens, Director of Projects, Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. Photo courtesy of CDB


Suriname, Apr 13, CMC – The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank is providing (US$21.9 million to Suriname to support the Dutch-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country’s programme of reform to improve the quality of and expand access to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the lower secondary school level. The CDB said that through the Enhancement of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (E-TVET) Project, eight practical instruction centres will be built and 101 classrooms and workshops constructed or upgraded. They will accommodate over 3,500 students at the lower secondary school level.

“CDB is very pleased to be commencing this partnership with the government of Suriname. The competencies which Surinamese students will develop as a result of this project will equip them to seek further education, to obtain sustainable employment and to enter into the workforce, thereby promoting and sustaining economic transformation and development,” said CBD’s Vice President (Operations), Patricia McKenzie.

In Suriname, students assigned to TVET programming, particularly those who live in remote areas, have limited or no access to practical education. The E-TVET project addresses this issue through the construction of the centres or hubs, which provide hands-on competency development for every student in TVET programming. The hubs will be outfitted with furniture, equipment and instructional resources that will allow for better preparation of students for further education or the workforce. Education, Science and Culture Minister Robert Peneux said Suriname has committed itself, on a national and regional level, to reform technical and vocational education to provide productive workers who meet the standards needed.

Via CMC (more…)