GEORGETOWN, Guyana--“The decision of the President to act unilaterally and independently of the submissions of the Leader of the Opposition poses a clear threat to democracy and will inevitably divide the nation and lead to economic instability. It is a dangerous decision.”
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados--Minister of Industry and International Business Donville Inniss says his Ministry is in the process of revoking the international business licences of four international business companies in Barbados, as he urged regulators who have concerns with any of their clients to have those clarified quickly or “dump them.”
NASSAU, The Bahamas--Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis told Parliament last week that all irregular migrants in the country, regardless of their nationality, have until December 31, 2017, to return voluntarily to their country of origin, warning that after this time they will be pursued without respite, arrested and expelled from the Bahamas.
WASHINGTON, United States--The United Kingdom (UK) Government will set up a private sector task force to help long-term reconstruction in countries and territories hit by last month’s Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados--Barbadian companies with poor company cultures may face a “brain drain” if their employees are wooed by competitors with better work environments.
WASHINGTON, United States--Despite the recent impact of natural disasters, the World Bank says the Latin American and Caribbean region remains on course to record modest economic growth for the first time in six years.
The bank’s Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean Carlos A. Végh issued the projection Thursday in the wake of two powerful category 5 storms, Irma and Maria, which devastated Anguilla, Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica and St. Martin last month.
With these islands currently struggling to get back on their feet, he said the Bank was still anticipating regional growth for 2017.
“After a growth slowdown that lasted six years [including a contraction of 1.3 per cent last year – Ed.], the Latin American and Caribbean region is finally expected to resume positive growth in 2017, with market analysts forecasting real GDP [Gross Domestic Product – Ed.] growth of 1.2 per cent for 2017 and 2.3 per cent for 2018,” Végh said in his presentation entitled “Between A Rock and A Hard Place” to the annual general meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington DC.
However, he noted that the resumption of positive growth was mainly due to the recovery in South America, which is expected to grow by 0.6 per cent in 2017 and 2.2 in 2018 after two consecutive years of negative growth in which real GDP fell by 1.2 per cent in 2015 and 2.9 per cent in 2016.
“The region would not have the benefits of favourable external factors such as a buoyant global economy or a great demand for raw materials. This means that Latin America must boost its own growth and put its house in order – in some cases with difficult public spending and money management decisions,” he added.
The World Bank official also touched on the financial institution’s response to last month’s hurricane devastation. He revealed that the bank was in the process of finalising assistance packages for Barbuda and Dominica which were hardest-hit.
In the meantime, Végh said the bank had disbursed US $23 million, US $20 million of which had gone to the relief efforts in Roseau. (Barbados Today) ~ Caribbean360 ~
SANTIAGO, Chile--The total number of persons suffering from hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean has increased, reversing decades of progress.
ROSEAU, Dominica--“Our devastation is so complete that our recovery has to be total. And so we have a unique opportunity to be an example to the world, an example of how an entire nation rebounds from disaster and how an entire nation can be climate-resilient for the future.”
CODRINGTON, Barbuda--Having seen first-hand the destruction wrought by the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres has called for the full mobilisation of the international community to support the people of the affected areas, while stressing the need to accelerate climate action.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad--Several schoolboys are facing disciplinary action after carrying out blatant acts of bullying at a secondary school in Trinidad and Tobago.
ROSEAU, Dominica--Two weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica, the island nation’s recovery is becoming more evident as the main port has reopened and supplies of food, water and basic necessities are being regularly delivered to the people, a United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in the region said, while stressing there are still “major challenges” ahead.
Briefing reporters at UN Headquarters in New York via telephone from Dominica, Stephen O’Malley, who is the UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, said “the [relief – Ed.] operation is going in the right direction.”
According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), this is the fifth time on record that Dominica has taken a direct hit from a hurricane, but never has it faced a storm of such ferocity and strength. The hurricane brought life in Dominica to a standstill.
“What was shocking to me was that the island, which was known as ‘the nature island of the Caribbean,’ was almost totally brown [in the wake of the category 5 storm – Ed.]. But now the green has started to come back,” O’Malley said, noting that this progress is being matched on the ground, where the situation has begun to stabilise.
Garbage is now being collected and roads are opening up, noted O’Malley, adding that power has come back to the capital, Roseau, and a few other locations.
“We are able to reach almost everybody now, and we are getting food, water and basic supplies out to people,” he said, cautioning at the same time that there will certainly be major challenges ahead.
He explained that the World Food Programme (WFP), working with the Government, distributed 60 metric tonnes of food last week to about 30,000 people, which is about half the population, and that more than 40 UN agency workers are on the ground to help the population.
The Government has asked the UN to work with it on a logistics plan to ensure regular delivery of relief supplies.
“The Government is also focussed on its recovery plan,” said O’Malley, noting that Dominican officials will head to Washington DC, and present the details during the Fall Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“What we need to do now in Dominica is to keep up this regular supply of the basics for people. Make sure the electricity comes up; getting people’s water supplies up; and getting markets open again; as well as health centres,” he explained, adding that Government was also looking at ways to “get the economy off the ground,” especially as the reconstruction effort would be massive.
He went on to recall that the UN, its partners and the Government has last week launched an emergency appeal for US $31.1 million to reach 65,000 people over the next three weeks.
Responding to a question, O’Malley said that looking at the broad swathe of devastation across Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Turks and Caicos, and other islands and territories that were affected by this summer’s series of category five storms, the recovery over time could cost as much as US $1 billion, though he stressed there were no exact figures.
“It’s going to be a large-scale rebuilding effort that will take time,” he said. ~ Caribbean360 ~
GEORGETOWN, Guyana--Exxon Mobil Corporation announced on Thursday, a fifth new oil discovery after drilling the Turbot-1 well offshore Guyana.
NASSAU, The Bahamas--Overwhelmed by the extent of devastation across Dominica he witnessed first-hand, the Bahamas Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis is ramping up assistance to his Caribbean neighbour.
MIAMI, Florida--The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has launched a booking initiative that allows hotels across the region to help those who have been adversely impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria while also highlighting that more than seventy per cent of Caribbean destinations have not been affected and are ready to welcome visitors as usual.
KINGSTON, Jamaica--Researchers at the University of the West Indies (UWI) will soon be able to probe the secret to longevity from Jamaica’s late oldest citizen.
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua--As Antigua and Barbuda experiences growth in tourism arrivals from key European markets, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s United Kingdom and Europe Office is focused on capitalising on the exponential growth by increasing its presence within the market.
ROSEAU, Dominica--People making claims that partisan politics is playing a role in aid distribution to residents of storm-ravaged Dominica on Friday evoked the ire of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad--Hold strain, vary your taste – and cut that Forex use.
With that advice, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley put Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) on notice, Wednesday that Government’s first priority for foreign exchange will be given to firms or industries that generate reasonable amounts of foreign exchange earnings.