Caribbean RoundUp

Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Phillip Davis.
Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Phillip Davis.


While addressing the opening of the Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers (WAAM) meeting, Bahamas Prime Minister Phillip Davis said the levels of violence against women and girls remains unacceptable.

“We can’t stop working on this issue until women are safe everywhere, whether we are walking alone at night, in their work places and schools, or at home with loved ones,” he said.

Davis said that his administration relies on a diverse team with broad expertise and varied backgrounds, with women occupying key positions in the Cabinet and throughout the government.

My administration has sought to address the social systemic factors contributing to violence against women and girls through increased funding to construct a new women’s shelter and to provide legal aid for survivors of domestic violence through social services and the Office of the Judiciary.”

The Commonwealth Secretariat said that the decisions from the three-day meeting will feed  into an action plan designed to end gender inequality in several Commonwealth priority areas.

It said these priority areas range from women’s inclusion in climate solutions, ending gender-based violence to increased support for women with disabilities and better representation in leadership.

The outcomes from the meeting will be considered by leaders at the 2024 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Samoa.



The US government’s donation of US$5.3 million to assist small farmers in the Caribbean Agricultural Productivity Program. It will be coordinated by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

US State Secretary Antony Blinken announced that the US would donate nearly IS$5.5 million to the cause.

Noting the US was one of the world’s top contributors to the climate change crisis, he said the US government recognised it’s responsibility in addressing climate change and its impact on Caribbean countries. He gave Caricom the assurance that the US would assist by expanding access to finance, strengthening disaster preparedness, among other things.

He added, “it will boost productivity, increase access to technology and markets and adopt climate smart practices.”

A spokesperson said the programme would be implemented over the next three years and that the programme, “will enhance food security in the Caribbean region by increasing fruit and vegetable productivity, building the capacity of buyers and suppliers to strengthen relationships with farmers, and improving farm-level extension systems.”



The Guyana government recently said it is holding discussions with India and Guatemala to provide technical managerial support to the state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO).

President Irfaan Ali said the technical support management would be expected to “drive the innovation, change and survival of the sugar industry.”

Ali said structural changes would have to be made at GUYSUCO’s management level, insisting, “We are not walking away from sugar.” He said that the Rosa Hall sugar estate would be reopened next month.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha, said the decision to re-open the Rosa Hall sugar estate aligns with the government’s commitment to restart the sugar industry, which makes a significant economic contribution and offers employment opportunities to the residents of the community.

The government has allocated GUY$1.195 billion to help with the estate’s reopening for the second crop in 2023.



A delegation of Kenyan police officers arrived in Haiti recently on a reconnaissance mission to the French-speaking Caribbean Community (Caricom) country following the East African country’s offer to help the Haitian National Police (HNP) in their bid to restore peace and security in the country.

Kenya’s Foreign Minister, Alfred Mutua, has said that his country’s commitment is to deploy a contingent of 1,000 police officers to help train and assist Haitian police restore normalcy and protect strategic installations.

Two Caricom countries, the Bahamas and Jamaica have already said they are willing to provide personnel, and the United States has also indicated a willingness to put forta Security Council resolution to back a deployment.

Last year, Haiti’s Prime Minister Dr. Ariel Henry sent an urgent appeal to the UN asking for “the immediate deployment of a specialized armed force, in sufficient quantity” to stop gang warfare in his country.

Nearly a dozen senior police officers left the Toussaint Louverture international airport under heavy security and will meet with Prime Minister Henry and Defense Minister Enold Joseph, among others.

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the Security Council to ensure that a multinational police deployment force is sent to Haiti to restore peace and security in the country.



Governor of the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), Richard Byles, says the local economy continues to expand, which supports increases in aggregate demand for goods and services and can potentially drive inflation upward.

Byles, speaking at the BOJ’s Quarterly Monetary Policy Report, said that the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) has estimated that the economy grew by 1.5 % for the June 2023 quarter, and there are signs that the economy continued to expand for the September 2023 quarter.

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) also reported that the unemployment rate for Jamaica in April 2023 was 4.5%, the lowest on record.

“This is indeed a momentous achievement for the Jamaican economy. Data on the unemployment rate, supported by anecdotal information about wage adjustments in selected private sector industries, indicates that the domestic labour market is very tight,” Byles said.

He added that from the BOJ’s perspective, this can become a threat to inflation if labor shortages into large wage increases and higher prices.

He said that the Central Bank continues to project that real growth domestic product (GDP) will grow by 1% to 3% for the financial year 2023/24, largely the result of expansion in the mining sector as well as continued growth in tourism and it’s allied industries.



Trinidad and Tobago’s Planning and Development Minister, Penelope Beckles-Robinson recently announced that T&T aims to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions from the PowerGen industrial and transportation sector by 15% or 103 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. This is expected to cost US$2 billion.

Speaking at the Central Finance Facility (CFF) launch of its credit union green loan, Beckles-Robinson said some of the funding can be done domestically, however, to ensure the success of the project, international funding is needed through the Green Climate Fund.

“It involves the mobilization and allocation of funds to support activities that reduce green house gas emissions, promote sustainable development and enhance resilience to the impacts of climate change, all of which, are intended to be achieved to through this launch,” she said.

CFF’s Vice President Lyndon Byer said he understands what the loan entails and hopes the CFF and credit unions can get the necessary funding to pass on to micro and small enterprises.

Adding that, “it will provide the members of our credit union access to green products and services that will help them generate savings, make a positive contribution to the environment and support the development of the green economy.”

Byer said that the green economy has become an important factor of national development through diversification.

— Compiled by Devika Ragoonanan