Caribbean RoundUp

Grenada's Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.
Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.
National Democratic Congress

ANTIGUA

Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who has won for the third consecutive term with a reduced majority is going into parliament with nine of the seventeen  seats from last week’s General Election.
Of the eight other seats up for grabs, the main opposition  United Progressive Party (UPP) won six-five more than it did in the 2018 polls, while former government legislator Asot Michael who ran as an independent emerged victorious, and  the Barbuda’s People’s Movement  (BPM) returned the seat of the sister isle.
Browne said his Antigua Labour Party (ALP) is heading into parliament. Reflecting on the fact that the ABLP was heading into parliament with six fewer seats than it had following the 2018 general elections, Browne said the party was aware that securing a third term would be difficult and was compounded by “relentless opposition propaganda” as well as the residual challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, which included “issues over which we had no control.”
BARBADOS 
Chairman of the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Shawn Edward is urging member countries which have defaulted on their financial obligations to the regional organization to honour their commitments.
Edward, who is also the Sustainable Development Minister in St Lucia, told reporters that the regional disaster response agency was ramping up efforts to help residents better prepare for natural disasters.
While he is unable to disclose the amount owed to CDEMA by regional governments, Edward said some of the 19 members were not up-to-date on their commitments and efforts were being made to reach an amicable solution to the problem.
He acknowledged that while revenue streams had been restricted over the past two years, “this is not in any way making an excuse for member territories who are defaulted on payments.”
CARIBBEAN 
The World Bank has provided more than US$40 million under the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Regional Health Project to improve health facilities and laboratory capacities, strengthen public health systems and emergency management, institutional capacity building, project management and coordination, and contingency emergency response.
Project beneficiaries include Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and the OECS Commission.
Small island developing states within the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable to the threats posed by climate change, from rising sea levels, hurricanes and floods, to increased temperatures and intensity of changing weather patterns. The project provides support to these OECS states to protect themselves from the devastating effect of disasters, pandemics and emergencies.
GRENADA
Less than one week after one Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leader urged the United States to help curb the importation of illegal guns into the region, Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dickon Mitchell has admitted the island is under threat from the illegal importation of guns and ammunition.
He is promising that his six-month-old administration will be adopting a zero tolerance approach to having firearms in communities.
Mitchell, who led his National Democratic Congress (NDC) to victory in the June 23 general election, was at the time responding to a question from a former police officer who retired from the Royal Grenada Police Force after serving for more than 25 years.
Recently, guns and ammunition were discovered after searches were conducted by the Customs and Police officers at the main St. George’s Port.
Last year, the police confiscated several illegal firearms as part of drug bust operations and search warrants.
GUYANA 
Guyana’s first artificial island, which is part of the reclaimed land that will be transformed into the estimated 44 acre mega-project to create the shore base facility, is being created in the Demerara River.
“The project managers have warned that the site remains an active construction zone and landing on the island is prohibited.
The island structure, while visible, is not yet fully stable formation. It said phase one of the project is meant to be the special purpose vehicle to serve as a SURF ( Subsea Umbilicals Riser and Flowlines) Shorebase for Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited.
JAMAICA 
Jamaica has recorded 32 murders during the first 14 days of the new year as compared with 72 for the corresponding period last year. A 56 percent decline, as government moves to finalise proposals to make the death penalty the automatic punishment for capital murder and 45 years’ imprisonment the minimum sentence for other homicides.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Cabinet was expected to finalize proposals to make the death penalty the automatic punishment for capital murder and 45 years imprisonment the minimum sentence for other homicides.
— Compiled by Azad Ali

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