A year that will have a lasting impact – CARICOM Secretary-General



End of Year Message

by the Secretary-General

of the

Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

Ambassador Irwin LaRocque


There is no doubt that the events of 2017 will have a lasting impact on our Community.  The ravaging effects of this year’s hurricane season will cast a long shadow over our Community for some time yet.

Six of our Members and several of our Caribbean neighbours experienced the wrath of unprecedented back-to-back Category 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The heavy toll of lives, property and infrastructure had an effect wider than the affected countries.  Our Community has bonded together, as its governments, people and institutions render yeoman support to the stricken countries.  The international community has been at our side in the relief undertaking in a highly appreciated show of solidarity.

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, (CDEMA) the Community’s specialised institution, performed magnificently as it coordinated the relief efforts and helped to set the stage for recovery.  I must extend the Region’s gratitude to the Agency for a job well done.  The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) was also prompt in meeting its commitments to the affected countries with the appropriate policies.

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

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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.