Friday, June 30, 2006 

Friday 30 June 2006

Effective August, Bonaire has a vwo

BONAIRE – The management of the Comprehensive school of Bonaire (SGB) announced in a press conference yesterday afternoon that effective next school year, the school is going to offer the 4th year of the pre-university education (vwo).

The SGB started three years ago with the first year of the vwo. The students of that year are now in the third year and ready to start with the second phase of their education. In the past, vwo-students had to continue their education either in Curacao or Aruba and had to leave home to go to another island on a very young age. Now it is possible to finish the education in Bonaire. This is a positive development in the education field.

The SGB will increase the tuition with 5 guilders per student and the lease of books and class material with 15 percent. The management has included social factors in this decision; the increase in not enough to cover the expenses.

The expensive euro and other increased expenses form the necessity for the measure. If the school charges the students and parentS for all the expenses, it would mean an increase of 100 percent, but since this is going to be too much for a lot of parents, the school had kept the increase to 15 percent.

The results of the exams were improved again in relation to former years. 90 Percent of the havo-students, 80 percent in the vocational- and theoretical education, and 100 percent of the AGO had passed their exams.

© Copyright 2001,


Gov't Recruits First Batch of Candidates for Cuba Nursing Programme
Thursday, June 29, 2006 – It was a full House at the NIC conference room on Thursday, June 28th when the Ministry of Education conducted an orientation session for 194 successful nominees to pursue the Cuban Nursing Scholarship Programme.
Cuban Ambassador to Saint Lucia His Excellency Hugo Cabrera briefed the students on the kind of environment Cuba offers.
“You will find in Cuba a very friendly country, a very friendly people as you are, very hospitable, but you have to be prepared to discover a country which is not a developed country. As a matter of fact we are on the way to becoming developed.”
Over the initial three year duration of the programme, Saint Lucians along with Vincentians and Kittitians will study to become qualified nursing assistants. The programme which is in its pilot stage was developed by the governments of St. Lucia and Cuba to address the shortage of nurses facing the island.Under the programme, students will be provided with boarding, meals, free medical attention and books and stationery.
Dr. Mkabi Walcott who studied in Cuba for six years, shared the perspective of a former student. She noted that sacrifices would have to be made in order to make good on this opportunity but the experience can be very rewarding with the right mindset and approach.
'You are extremely lucky that you're going to be provided with accommodation which is new. A new school is going to house all of you together, along with some persons from St. Vincent and St. Kitts. So you are extremely lucky. You will not have to go through periods of loneliness, because you have each other right there .”
Those bound for Cuba were scheduled to leave the island by Thursday and Friday. The nursing students will be based in the province of Cienfuegos some six hours from Havana.

© 2006 Government Information Service. All rights reserved.


Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment & Culture

Gov't Working with ACS to Develop Sustainability
Indicators for the Caribbean
Friday, June 30, 2006

Tourism, Entertainment and Culture Minister, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba has informed that the government was collaborating with the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) on a project to develop and implement sustainability indicators for the Greater Caribbean.

"This involves the development of a methodology with common goals for measuring the impact of sustainable development. The indicators will allow public/private sector agencies to gauge and monitor the tourism sector's progress towards achieving sustainable development," Minister Assamba disclosed yesterday (June 28) as she made her contribution to 2006/2007 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.
She indicated that the project, which is funded by the Foreign Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, seeks to identify, prioritise and assess pilot destinations in ACS member states that will become part of the Sustainable Tourism Zone of the Caribbean (STZC). Ocho Rios has been selected as the local site for the application of the sustainability indicators.

The Jamaican government's pursuit of the project represents part of its Tourism Master Plan. According to Mrs. Assamba, "the first pillar of the Master Plan speaks to sustainability of the tourism product."

The Convention establishing the STZC was signed by heads of state and governments of the ACS signed in 2001. It requires a practical and operational mechanism to gather individual sustainable tourism initiatives and best practices that are to be developed or implemented by the member countries.

Copyright © 1996 -2003, Jamaica Information Service, All rights reserved.


Ministry of Health and Environment

Launching of Virtual Health Library

Belize City - 30 June, 2006. The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with other national institutions and with technical support from the Pan American Health Organization will be launching its Virtual Health Library (VHL) on Tuesday, July 4th, 2006 starting at 9:00 a.m. at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, Belize City.

The VHL is a means of joining the expanding network of internet libraries on health sciences information throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. This initiative is intended for users countrywide and regionally to ensure universal access to scientific and technical information, products and services.

"Towards Equitable Access to Scientific Health Information and Knowledge" is the motto for this initiative.

A team of experts from the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information, BIRME/PAHO/WHO, will be conducting a series of activities such as on-site visits and training sessions, intended to involve all the national institutions related to the production, management and use of health information.

The VHL will be an integral part of the Latin American and Caribbean Network, and will contribute to increased national capacity to collect, organize, index, preserve, publish, disseminate, access and use scientific information.

Copyright © 1999 Government of Belize. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, June 29, 2006 

29 June 2006

U.N Initiative Aims To Save Forests in Latin America,

Dominican Republic hosts meeting on reversing forest loss in region

By Eric Green
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- An initiative to reverse forest loss in Latin America and the Caribbean has been presented at a June 26-30 United Nations-sponsored meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

In a June 27 statement, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the initiative is needed because Latin America and the Caribbean have registered the world's highest rate of forest loss over the past 15 years. The FAO said that from 1990-2005, the region's forest area declined from 51 percent to 47 percent of total land area, primarily due to conversion of forest land to agriculture. (See related article.)

The FAO said that despite the "grim picture" painted by these figures, experts say there are numerous examples of sound programs in which forests are being effectively managed and the benefits of forestry are being shared among local communities.

The initiative calls for collecting case studies of successful forest management in Latin America and the Caribbean region so that such success can be replicated elsewhere. Government institutions, private sector companies, local communities and individuals are being invited to nominate the examples of successful forestry management programs, said the FAO.

Among the scheduled participants at the 24th Session of the Latin America and Forestry Commission meeting in Santo Domingo were two officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Forest Service -- Ariel Lugo, director of the International Institute of Tropical Forestry in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Elizabeth Mayhew, the agency's Latin America, Caribbean and Canada program coordinator.

Founded in 1948, the Latin American and Caribbean Forestry Commission is one of six regional forestry commissions created by the FAO to provide a policy and technical forum for countries to discuss and address forest issues.

Other topics being discussed at the Santo Domingo meeting include conservation of biological diversity, climate change and forest fires.

The FAO's senior forestry officer, Carlos Marx Carneiro, said that examining examples of excellence in forest management will provide a more accurate picture of how to save forests. Carneiro said the "destruction of tropical forests is not the whole story. We know from field experience and reports that in many places in Latin America and the Caribbean, forests are being managed well -- yet these successes are often not acknowledged."

The case studies of successful forest management will be collected in a book slated for publication in 2009, said the FAO. The agency said the initiative in Latin America follows the publication in 2005 of a similar FAO book on forestry in the Asia-Pacific region.

The U.S. Tropical Forest Conservation Act offers eligible developing countries an opportunity to relieve certain official debt owed the United States while generating funds to support local tropical forest conservation activities.

An official with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said in an interview that countries currently involved in the global program are Bangladesh, Belize, Colombia, El Salvador, Jamaica, Panama, Peru and the Philippines. The official said many more countries are expected to become partners in the program. The U.S. State Department, USAID and the U.S. Department of Treasury are the three principal U.S. agencies involved in the program, said the official.

On a broader scale, the United States supports what is called the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Environmental Funds, which promotes conservation and sustainable use of nature in the Western Hemisphere. More information network is available on its Web site.

More information about Tropical Forest Conservation Act is available on the USAID Web site.
More about the Asia-Pacific case studies is available on the FAO Web site.

(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:


Web Posted - Thu Jun 29 2006
By Janelle Husbands

FIVE local organisations committed to the fight against drugs and substance abuse have come together to form the Anti-Drug Network.

The announcement was made yesterday that the Coalition Against Substance Abuse, the National Committee for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Dependency, Verdun House, Teen Challenge Barbados and Drug Education and Counselling Services will be working closely together to tackle the drug scourge in Barbados in a more holistic manner.

Chairman of the newly formed non-governmental organisation, Pastor Victor Roach explained that after several meetings between the entities it was agreed that there is much more to be gained in the fight against drugs by working together. Our main focus right now is sharing of resources with each other. We are also concerned about enhancing and practising the ethics of the profession and we seek wherever possible to engage governments and international donor agencies on a united basis so that there would be no duplication and overlap in our representations to these funding agencies.

He noted that this collaborative team will also serve as a panel to offer counselling services to persons visiting Barbados during Cricket World Cup 2007. We are fully conscious that the international community will bring to us individuals who have addictions of one sort another, be it drugs or gambling or other substances and rehabilitation and the dynamics of relapse prevention require that they are able to access treatment and counselling and support groups wherever necessary.

We are preparing to assist each other by responding to needs as they arise and wherever necessary doing the appropriate referrals so that while we enjoy the felicities of cricket in the region we are also catering for a very important sector in the community, those who have addiction problems and to aid and augment and to enhance their capacity to sustain their enjoyment of cricket while at the same time not compromising their health.

Executive Director Teen Challenge Stephen Gilkes stressed the key role of partnership and networking if Barbados is to see a decrease in drugs abuse across the island.

It is extremely pivotal at this time that there is networking, information sharing and that there is a united front- all for the benefit of the client, where we have at least four or five different types of intervention strategies to assist. We see that that partnership is extremely important for recovery to play a lasting and an effective role. If we are going to see any impact in the trends that we are seeing today it has to be unified effort, Gilkes stated.

Roger Husbands of the Drug Education and Counselling Service said that it is a phenomenal day when organisations in the anti drug network can come together and unite as one for one common purpose. Edward Young of the Coalition against Substance Abuse (CASA) noted that with the influx of referrals to the voluntary organisation, CASA is finding it difficult to continue its programme.
So we are hoping that by forming this coalition we would try to support each other to continue to provide the kind of counselling that we perform in the community, he said.

Barbados Advocate ©2000


Minister Nottage wants more doctors
to practice medicine in Family Islands

Bahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas--- Minister of Health and National Insurance Sen. the Hon. Bernard J. Nottage Monday (June 26) called for specialist family practitioners and trained public health physicians to practice in the Family Islands.The Minister’s appeal came during the induction and awards ceremony for the graduating class of 2006 of the Universityof the West Indies School for Clinical, Medicine and Research, Bahamas Campus, at Sandals Royal Bahamian Resortand Spa, Cable Beach.
The Minister noted there are only two Bahamian physicians at the 90 public health clinics in operation in the FamilyIslands. “As these islands experience economic growth due to substantial investments, there will be an influx of people, goodsand animals through the many ports of entry. There will be the emergence of communicable diseases and there will bean increased need for emergency medical care and management. These needs are increasing now,” Dr. Nottage said.
The Minister said new clinics and mini-hospitals are already either in the final construction phase or on the drawing boardin Inagua, Cat Island, Abaco, Eleuthera Exuma, Grand Bahama and elsewhere.He also said there is an urgent need for ‘specialist’ Family Practitioners and trained Public Health physicians, and that the manpower study also recommended that the number of qualified psychiatrists needed to be doubled over the next two tothree years.
“So you may wish to consider career paths in the sub-specialties of psychiatry such as Forensic and Paediatric psychiatry,” Dr. Nottage said. “These are not necessarily the most glamorous of the specialties but they are the most needed.”
He said the Ministry of Health and the department of Public Health are endeavouring to ensure that there is a physician on each Family Island.“Today, Acklins, Crooked Island and Long Cay, located in the southeastern Bahamas, continue to share one doctor. Andwe are seeking to ensure the mental health of the communities throughout the urban areas,” Dr. Nottage said.
According to Dr. Nottage, the manpower review revealed that there are 437 doctors in practice in The Bahamas -- 320 inthe public sector and 117 in the private sector. By 2003, the total number of physicians had increased to 523.
“Where as Bahamian students tended to seek their training in the US, the UK, Canada and the West Indies, we now have students throughout the region with perhaps the largest number studying in Cuba,” he said. “Once all the complications ofthat diversity are sorted out, there is likely to be an even greater increase in the growth of the profession.”He said the Physician man power review of 2002 projected that expanding services for the next three to five years would require 15 to 20 new physicians per annum.
“Despite the increase numbers, however, Bahamian doctors still tend, for economic reasons, to remain in New Providence or Grand Bahama to practice, leaving the Family islands to the public sector and the non-Bahamian physicians,” he said.Ministry of Health and the Department of Health are endeavoring to ensure that there is a physician on each Family Island. Dr. Nottage urged doctors to keep abreast of various diseases such as SARS, H5NI virus, HIV/AIDS and medicine or they would be of little value to their patients.
“The discipline of medicine will challenge you to keep alongside the new developments in healthcare, the new treatmentsof old diseases as well as the treatment of new emerging diseases,” he said.
The Minister implored graduates to allow punctuality, productivity and professionalism to be their credo.
“Too many young professionals seem to use the sector as an economic base to ensure a steady income, but do not put in the time for which they have been paid,” he saidMinister Nottage encouraged the graduates to adopt and live by the simple motto: “Know their work, go to work and do your work.”

© 2005 The Official Website of The Government of the Bahamas. All rights reserved


Havana. June 28, 2006

Cuba to boost alcohol production capacity fivefold
BY IVAN TERRERO— Granma International staff writer—

THE Cuban sugar industry is about to embark on an accelerated program of alcohol production, increasing productive capacity fivefold by modernizing existing distilleries and installing new sugar cane fermentation plants.

This was announced by Luis Gálvez, director of the Cuban Sugar Cane Derivatives Research Institute (ICIDCA), during his address on the inaugural day of the I9th International Congress on Sugar Cane and Derivatives at the Habana Libre Hotel in Havana.

"With such investments we can increase the capacity of the 18 existing refineries many times over, thus allowing us to produce alcohol for export and for gasoline mixes and to take advantage of its applications in the energy sector, as a replacement for contaminating substances that damage health," Gálvez stated.

The production and consumption of alcohol encompasses various issues including technology, the environment, costs and pricing, uses, markets, regulations, as well as social aspects, all of which prompt countries to apply appropriate options.

It is estimated that a production rate of 500 million liters of alcohol per year can be achieved with this program. The growing demand for alcohol has stimulated the agro-industrial sector like never before.

Gálvez affirmed that the domestic and export market for alcohol "opens up virtually unlimited opportunities for all the producer countries," particularly in view of the increasing international demand for ethanol which is used in fuel mixes for internal combustion engines.

"In this way," Gálvez indicated, "new alternatives to producing high-quality sugar will be available, such as the co-generation of electricity, and the production of yeast, carbon dioxide, and liquid fertilizer, among others.

The ninth edition of this congress took place in the Latin American and Caribbean region where more than half of the world’s alcohol is produced and consumed. Likewise the majority of the world’s ethanol exports come from this area and it is predicted that this production will undoubtedly continue to grow.

Peter Baron, executive director of the International Sugar Organization (OIA), gave a master lecture regarding diversification, emphasizing the various uses of alcohol as an alternative and viable fuel, given the high price of oil on the international market.

Addressing experts from 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries including Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil, along with Slovakia and Holland, Baron praised the merits of alcohol as an ecological fuel and highlighted Cuban efforts to diversify the sugar industry, which has allowed the nation to boost its production of foodstuffs and alcohol.

Brazilian expert Plinio Nastari stressed that ethyl alcohol allows producers to diversify their markets and generate higher income with the same volume of production.

Nastari stated that currently 46% of the world’s production of ethanol comes from sugar and 54% is derived from cereal such as corn.

The estimated world production of ethanol for this year is around 49.7 billion liters and, according to data from the international analysis firms Datagro and F.O. Licht, the principal producers are the United States, 36.3%; Brazil, 35.6; China, 8.5; and India, 3.8.
Likewise, Nastari recalled that in Brazil this alcohol supplies 13.2% of the total energy used for transport.

Over the last 30 years, its use has saved 1.51 billion barrels of gasoline in the South American giant, representing 13% of the proven crude and condensate reserves in the country.

© Copyright. 1996-2006. All rights reserved. GRANMA INTERNATIONAL/ONLINE EDITION. Cuba.


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Webb: ‘Government has to protect everyone’
MP Renee Webb renews call for end to discrimination against gays

By Dan Jones

The spotlight shone on Bermuda's human rights laws last night when Government backbencher Renee Webb again pressed her case for discrimination based on sexual orientation to be outlawed.The MP was one of seven panellists at a public meeting that heard former Government Minister Quinton Edness state that he thought politicians should pass the amendment, when Ms Webb re-tabled the draft legislation."They should redeem themselves," Mr. Edness later told The Royal Gazette. Hopefully now they understand that the community feels upset by their actions. They do not want to be seen as not protecting other Bermudians. If that's the case they should not be there."The elder statesman also hit out at MPs for staying silent."This is a society that's suffered discrimination and many of the people who sat silently have suffered discrimination of the worst kind."They did not have the gumption to be able to say, I have a right now in my position to help protect those other people out there."He added: "Whether it had been passed or not, a proper debate on this would have done the community a great service."Other members on a panel holding diverse views on the issue were lawyer Mark Pettingill; ex- Minister Arthur Hodgson; psychology lecturer Quinton Sherlock and church representatives the Rev. Lorne Bean, of Bright Temple AME Church, Warwick, and Pastor Terrance Stovell, of the Better Covenant Christian Fellowship.Rev. Bean came in for criticism from one man in the audience of about 50 people at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute for preaching "un-Christian hate" from his pulpit on the gay rights issue."It's wrong that any church should try and force it's particular views on the public," said the man, who added that he found it "totally objectionable" that religious leaders were in the House of Assembly on the day most politicians stayed silent on Ms Webb's amendment.But Rev. Bean denied this amounted to intimidation and said the church presence in the House was an example of democracy at work."I feel we do have a right to be there on issues that are important to us," he told the meeting, adding that his critic might be seen as trying to impose secular views on the community.Mr. Pettingill said he was confident Ms Webb's amendment would be passed. "I believe this will end in a triumph for democracy."He later told The Royal Gazette that the suggestion raised by Premier Alex Scott that the law should not be changed until a test case had been brought to court were the wrong way of dealing with the topic."It's irresponsible for the Premier to say we will wait for a test case because the basis for good Parliamentary function is to see issues, address them and legislate for them, before you have to litigate. You should see it coming and then legislate."And Ms Webb told the meeting: "Government has to protect everyone. That's what human rights are about."Mr. Hodgson raised the idea of a referendum on the issue before noting that it was sad that MPs who failed to take part in the debate were not present last night.A broad sweep of topics were raised during the first of a series of "town hall" meetings, organised by The Smile Foundation, which runs arts and education programmes for youngsters.Subjects discussed included deficiencies in Bermuda's human rights legislation, the panel's views on the pro-democracy march on the House one week after Ms Webb's bill failed and the role of the church. Human rights in relation to black economic empowerment and education were also raised.

Copyright ©2005 The Royal Gazette Ltd.


Thursday, June 29, 2006

New model on healthcare service for expectant moms
By Rebecca Banuchi

SAN JUAN (AP) – With the intention of improving prenatal and pediatric care on the island, insurance companies within the health reform plan are planning to adopt a new model that has already been successful on the mainland U.S.

Patients’ Advocate Luz Teresa Amador on Wednesday said the new model was developed by the Center for Healthcare Strategies, which is a non-profit organization headquartered in New Jersey. The model was first implemented in 1998 and can already be found in 37 U.S. jurisdictions.

This new approach helps expectant mothers receive prenatal care during the first trimester of their pregnancies as well as pediatric care for the first three years of a baby’s life.

Amador stressed the importance of this new service in Puerto Rico, where 20% of expectant mothers don’t go to their obstetrician during the first three months of pregnancy and less than 30% of babies who are born with congenital deficiencies are identified before they reach school age.

The agency chief also said Puerto Rico has the highest rate of premature births in the U.S.
Amador said these visits during the first trimester of a woman’s pregnancy is crucial in identifying not just clinical risks, but other potential problems such as domestic violence, drug addiction, and mental illness, which could all contribute to a premature birth and other complications.

Copyright © 2000-2006 Casiano Communications Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 

June 27, 2006
The poverty impact of trade integration

Leading specialists in the areas of international trade and poverty met at IDB headquarters to discuss the poverty impact of trade integration in Latin America

Whether you’re a subsistence farmer in southern Mexico, the manager of an asparagus cannery in Peru, an indigenous artisan in Ecuador or the owner of a textile company in Guatemala, you will understandably have differing expectations, hopes and fears regarding trade liberalization and integration into the global economy.

Similarly, economists, trade ministers, agricultural specialists, environmentalists and social development experts likely back different aspects of the trade liberalization debate, some focusing more on the potential macroeconomic impacts brought by integration into the world economy and others more on the micro-level implications for subsistence farmers and local economies.

However, whatever your title or lot in life, there is a general consensus that the trade agreements, reforms and policies adopted throughout Latin America and the Caribbean within the last ten to fifteen years have had uneven impacts, with many of the benefits concentrated in the hands of the elite few, while the poorest often bear the brunt of the ills wrought by greater exposure to the world market.

The fact is that trade liberalization has not reduced poverty nor inequality. And clearly there have been winners and losers.The interrelationship between trade integration and poverty levels, including understanding the challenges in designing and implementing pro-poor policies and what institutions like the IDB can to do address these challenges, was the topic of the recent workshop, Trade and Poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean, held at IDB headquarters in Washington, D.C. Experts from various disciplines presented papers and discussed the complex amalgam of issues related to the subject.

Are trade and poverty related?
A fundamental problem brought up by Professor Albert Berry of the University of Toronto, and echoed by others, is the general paucity of specific information surrounding the relationship between trade and poverty in the region.

“We don’t know enough to understand the mechanisms that connect liberalization to poverty and inequality and too much of the literature has tried to make broad conclusions, “ often overlooking the need for specifics, noted Berry, adding that “what we do know is generally not easily translated into policy”.

Considering that various regions and countries—and regions within countries—have unique economic, demographic, political and social environments, all containing complex intervening factors that influence the way trade policies are developed and implemented, it is paramount that more in-depth, country-specific research be carried out in order to make the information more relevant and accessible to policymakers and to promote the integration of poverty reduction into trade agendas.

In the same vein, Peter Hakim, President of the Inter-American Dialogue, noted the difficulty of drawing conclusions on the issues of trade and poverty—for policymakers and the public alike—if the information available is unclear, stressing that economists and academics need to better respond to each other’s arguments, confronting and challenging their disparate views on trade, to make for a more fruitful dialogue on the issue. However, unlike Berry, Hakim also called for a more coherent, broad approach to researching trade and poverty, before delving into the specifics.

Social impacts of trade
Trade liberalization has failed to reduce poverty, according to Julio Berdegué, President of the Latin American Center for Rural Development (Rimisp), who, based on a study of 14 countries, noted that after 20 years of economic integration and trade liberalization, the number of rural poor has increased, with extreme poverty and the displacement of local producers also rising.

Overall, Berdegué highlighted the importance of designing policies that consider how trade will affect regions within a country differently, taking into account the myriad intervening factors and stepping away from the overly simplistic models used in the past.

On a similar note, senior labor economist Carmen Pages of the World Bank and the IDB, discussed job losses due to trade liberalization, while also stressing that job reallocation is already very high in Latin America—one of every three registered jobs is created or destroyed any given year—making it hard to unequivocally determine trade-caused job displacements.

Nonetheless, she also pointed to the need to shield workers from the costs of trade through improving protection systems in the region, from income support mechanisms and wage insurance to improving job search assistance using the internet, for example.

The options
In light of the persisting levels of poverty and inequality throughout the region, after 20 years of trade liberalization, what are the alternatives?

Completely ignoring trade integration would be unrealistic, noted Nohra Rey de Marulanda, Manager of the IDB’s Integration and Regional Programs Department. But it would be nearly impossible to implement all of the policies to mitigate the various negative impacts of trade integration. Nonetheless, policymakers need to decide a domestic trade agenda rather than ignoring the issue. “Trade should be seen as an instrument, but not as a means in itself,” she added.

This means taking into account the sectors likely to benefit from opening markets, as well as the sectors likely to be hit. Integrating poverty reduction into the core of policy design from the beginning, could be an option, something in which institutions like the IDB could play a role.
The workshop was funded through the Trade and Poverty Trust Fund, a multi-donor fund established by the IDB, with an initial contribution from the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), that seeks to both strengthen IDB capacity to assess the impact of trade and integration on poverty reduction and support the adoption of pro-poor trade-related strategies and policies in the countries of the region.

Also available in: Español

© 2006 Inter-American Development Bank. All rights reserved.


News release 128/2006
(28 June 2006)


(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The operationalisation of the regional Development Fund will represent an instance of shared sovereignty among CARICOM Governments, and dispel some of the unfounded concerns about the loss of national sovereignty with the deepening of our economic integration process, said CARICOM Secretary-General His Excellency Edwin Carrington .

Addressing the opening session of Caribbean Connect, a High-Level three day Symposium 28-30 June 2006, on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) in Barbados on Wednesday 28 June, Mr. Carrington challenged the audience to find many more such opportunities for the pursuit of shared sovereignty as those listed for deliberation during this symposium.

Close to three hundred delegates are part of Caribbean Connect, aimed at bringing together “the widest possible cross-section of stakeholders (both regional and international) to deliberate on issues critical to our very existence as the Caribbean Community.” The CARICOM Single Market is the second in the world and believed to be the first in a grouping of sovereign Developing States.

Caribbean Connect is widely seen as “the most significant and timely encounter to-date between CARICOM governments, policy-makers, business, the labour movement, Donor Community Officials, regional financial and development institutions, academia and other stakeholders on the CARICOM Single Economy.

The framework for the Single Economy element of the CSME is due to be completed by 2008. Its core revolves around the harmonisation of macroeconomic policies in monetary, financial, fiscal and investment areas, as well as harmonisation of sectoral policies with respect to agriculture, industry and transportation.”

The Secretary-General sees Caribbean Connect as “a significant step towards our achievement of that complementary milestone – the launch of the CARICOM Single Economy thereby allowing us to truly represent our Community as a Single Market and Economy.


© 2006 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat. All Rights Reserved.


Caribbean calls for more assistance in
crime fighting
Wednesday June 28 2006

UNITED NATIONS (CMC) – The Caribbean Community (Caricom) has reiterated its call for increased international financial and technical support in combating escalating crime in the region.

Barbados’ United Nations Ambassador, Dr. Christopher Hackett, speaking on behalf of Caricom, told the opening session of a two-week United Nations Conference on Illicit Small Arms that the presence of small arms and light weapons in the region is being used by criminal networks involved in the trafficking of drugs and weapons.

“The increasing crime in the Caricom region is compounded by relatively easy access to, and use of, firearms,” he said.
“The Caricom member states have been seeking to implement their commitments at the national and regional levels, but have faced a number of challenges,” he said, adding that that increased international financial and technical assistance and support were necessary in assisting in capacity-building.

“Data collection and coordination of intelligence activities must be strengthened. There should be improved regulation for firearms dealers.”

Hackett said new and increased levels of crime were forcing Caricom countries to re-think their national and regional strategies, pointing out that the capacity of Caricom countries to deal with that problem has been “overtaxed”.

He said it is necessary to establish a comprehensive follow-up mechanism, as a result of the Review Conference, to periodically review progress made in the implementation of the Programme of Action.

“Caricom reiterates the urgent need for the international community to take concerted action to eradicate the deadly use and trade in illicit small arms,” the Barbadian envoy said.

At the meeting’s opening session, the conference confirmed as its Secretary-General Saijin Zhang, Senior Political Affairs Officer of the UN Department for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Management, and elected vice presidents from a number of countries, including Jamaica.

The conference, which runs through 7 July, aims to boost worldwide support for the 2001 programme’s guidelines, under which states made a commitment to collect and destroy illegal weapons, curb illicit small arms trafficking, and, among other things, regulate the activities of arms brokers and impose import and export controls.

© SUN Printing & Publishing LTD 2003-2004. All Rights Reserved.


JASPEV Facilitates 'Joined-up'
Youth Business Development

ASPEV (in collaboration with the Jamaica Business Development Centre and other agencies involved in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development) has held Entrepreneurship Interface Sessions with youths in parishes across Jamaica.


(c)Copyright 2003 Jamaica Social Policy Evaluation. All rights reserved.


Too Many Aid Projects: Study Suggests Donor Competition
Reduces Development

Download (PDF, 336 KB)

David Roodman
Competitive Proliferation of Aid Projects: A Model -- Working Paper 89

The proliferation of aid projects--particularly the failure of donors to coordinate them--is often criticized as one of the ways the foreign aid system is running amok. Tanzania alone had more than 1,500 aid commitments from 2001 to 2003. Mozambique had even more. Evidently, each donor wants its own school-building project, its own HIV prevention campaign, and so on. These projects share the goal of improving the lives of the world's poor. And the detailed oversight possible in such targeted projects may improve administration. But it often burdens recipient governments with reporting requirements, donor visits, and other administrative costs, siphoning off scarce domestic recipient resources from directly productive use.

In this Working Paper, David Roodman presents a model of aid projects that reflects both sides of this coin. He posits a distinction between national-level governance and project-level governance. A donor can raise project-level governance by requiring oversight activities of the recipient, although the benefits from doing so are less where national-level governance is already high. Large projects, which Roodman's model assumes demand proportionally less oversight activity from the recipient, maximize development where aid volume is higher, by not overburdening recipient administrative capacity; where recipient resources are scarcer, for the same reason; and where national governance is good, since the marginal benefit of oversight is then lower. A multi-donor generalization shows how donors who care most about the success of their own projects (being "selfish") tend to sink into competitive proliferation, in which each donor subdivides its aid budget into smaller projects to raise the marginal productivity of the recipient's resources in those projects and attract them away from other donors. As a result, projects proliferate and development falls. Fundamentally, the inefficiency arises from the lack of a market among donors for recipient resources. But the smallest selfish donors actually gain, which discourages them from cooperating with other donors to contain competitive proliferation.
© 2006 Center for Global Development.


26 June 2006

UNDP to honor Red Sox, Mets stars for
helping rebuild flood-hit Dominican village

The two-and three-bedroom residences have kitchens, dining areas, bathrooms and back porches – and innovative architecture designed to withstand future flash flooding. The government has built entirely new roads, power lines and sewage systems for the rebuilt village. Now, two years later, the flood victims of Jimaní are ready to move into their new homes, with hopes for a better life.

John Henry, principal owner of the Red Sox, spoke proudly of his current and former players and the rebuilding effort: “The generosity of Pedro Martínez, David Ortiz, Manny Ramírez, and the entire Red Sox Nation was extraordinary during a time of need in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Through their efforts, the United Nations Development Programme has been able to rebuild not only homes but the lives of people in these two countries. I salute these accomplishments.”

Before the Red Sox-Mets game on June 29th at Fenway Park in Boston, UNDP will honor Ortiz, Ramírez and Martínez, as well as the Red Sox Foundation and John Henry, for their generous contributions to relief and recovery in the aftermath of the devastating floods. His Excellency Flavio Dario Espinal, the Dominican Republic’s Ambassador to the United States, will also be on hand to offer the thanks of his government.

And by video, the grateful townspeople of Jimaní will voice their own thanks to the Red Sox organization, Red Sox fans, and the three Dominican baseball greats.

“UNDP is thrilled to participate in this reunion of three baseball stars who brought a title home to Boston, and we are even more excited to get the chance to express our gratitude, and the gratitude of the people of Jimaní, to these players for their good work off the field,” said Niky Fabiancic, the chief UN representative in the Dominican Republic.

Contact Information

Click here to view or download
the related UNDP video

For more information contact:
In New York
William Orme, Tel.: (212) 906-5382, mobile: (917) 607 1026; E-mail:

Ben Craft,
Tel.: (212) 906-5344, mobile: (914) 220-2090; E-mail:

For TV/Broadcast,

Boaz Paldi, Tel.: (212) 906 6801, E-mail:

In the Dominican Republic
Luis Rubio Sanchez, Tel.: 1(809)537-0909 Ext. 300, mobile: 1(809) 756 6987), Email:

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 

PM Spencer calls for new focus on youth
Tuesday June 27 2006

by Patricia Campbell

There is increasing regional focus on incidents of juvenile delinquency in the society. The matter was highlighted last week, when OECS heads of government and regional officials met in St. Kitts.

OECS Chairman, Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has identified the misbehaviour of young people as a key issue requiring the attention of the OECS. “It has moved from a state of ‘your neighbour’s house is on fire,’ to one where ‘the house is on fire’ everywhere,” he told his regional colleagues, pointing out that this problem was not limited to any single state in the region.
Over the last year, the issue of delinquency has become topical as a matter of concern in Antigua & Barbuda, spurred on by escalating reports of violence in the schools and criminal behaviour perpetrated by school-aged children and young adults.

Pointing out that two-thirds of the region’s population is below the age of 30, Prime Minister Spencer called on the heads of government to, in the immediate future, address the problem of anti-social behaviour among young people.

“Our young people are the custodians of our society and the trustees of prosperity for future generations. The present challenges facing our youth, if not addressed on a coherent, co-ordinated basis, will present a bleak future for us all,” he said.

“The youth of our nations can play important roles, in our development, if provided with the right tools, the learning and empowerment to employ those tools and a supportive environment in which to use them.”

He has called on the church, the business community, educational institutions and families to work with the government to tackle this problem by ensuring that “young people are positively utilised to maintain social and economic stability and cohesion in the sub-region.”

With similar goals in mind, the government created a National Youth Task Force in February. The task force is chaired by Director of Youth Cleon Athill. In May, it completed a series of public consultations on issues related to youth and is currently in the process of formulating a national youth policy for Antigua & Barbuda.

© SUN Printing & Publishing LTD 2003-2004. All Rights Reserved.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

EU stresses good governance in assisting
developing countries
By Chamanlall Naipaul

to the Delegation of the
EU here, Ms. Ritva Sallmen, standing, addresses
participants at the workshop yesterday to fine-tune
the EC’s country strategy for the 10th EDF.
To her left is IDB representative, Mr. Sergio Varas

THE European Union (EU), set to become the largest aid donor to Guyana, is placing increased emphasis on good governance as a benchmark in providing aid to developing countries.

At a workshop yesterday at Cara Lodge, Quamina Street, in Georgetown, to refine a country strategy to use financial aid under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), Economic Adviser to the Delegation of the EU here, Ms. Ritva Sallmen, said the European Commission (EC) will place much emphasis on good governance during the next programming period by rewarding well-performing countries with additional funding through an incentive tranche.
Guyana will receive 40.8M Euros (about G$10 billion) in development assistance under the EC’s 10th EDF from 2008 to 2013.

Additional funds will also be set aside for unforeseeable purposes such as natural disasters.
Sallmen indicated that the emphasis on good governance is because of the recognition that any good track record in development can be traced back to the quality of governance, adding that countries with three tiers of state power ---executive, justice, and parliament --- and with strong institutions and code of conduct within and between these institutions, are respected as they demonstrate a “good return on money invested in development.”

However, acknowledging that the total aid package earmarked for Guyana over the next five years amounts to some US$1 billion when support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank, Department For International Development (DFID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), among others, is taken into account, Sallmen asked whether Guyana would have the capacity to absorb such a huge volume of aid.

She contended that despite massive injection of financial aid, Guyana continues to show a weak Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and high level of poverty, and is characterised by ad hoc policy decisions.

Sallmen further observed that the growth of the private sector has been sluggish with low levels of foreign direct investment and a high rate of unemployment.

Development cooperation between Guyana and the EC began under the successive Lome Conventions and continues under the Cotonou Agreement through the EDFs and National Indicative Programme (NIP) and other financial modalities.

Under Lome I from 1975 to 1980, Guyana benefited from 16.7 million Euros, while corresponding figures for Lome II (1980-1985), Lome III (1985-1990) and Lome IV (1990-1995) were 57.4M Euros, 31.9M Euros, 73.9M Euros. For the 8th EDF under Lome IVb (1995-2000) 60.4M Euros were received, while under the 9th EDF,38.9M Euros were committed.

Guyana also benefits from regional agreements such as EC/CARICOM and CARIFORUM agreements, the development for Caribbean rum, the HIV/AIDS Medi–Lab, support for rice sector competitiveness and trade, as well as assistance for disaster preparedness.

In addition, Guyana is participating in the establishment of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between CARICOM and the EC. Under this agreement, support for the Ogle Airport project on the East Coast Demerara is anticipated.

The purpose of the workshop was to fine-tune the EC’s country strategy and the contents of the NIP, and participants drawn from governmental agencies and trade unions discussed different options including continued support for the sea defences of Guyana, macroeconomic support in the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, opportunities for interventions in governance, and in land use.

Copyright GNNL June 2006


DE plus en plus d'Haïtiens refoulés par les autorités
Posté le 27 juin 2006

Les autorités dominicaines continuent de refouler les Haïtiens illégaux vivant en République voisine. Près d'1 millier on été rapatriés en 1 mois.

Nos compatriotes sont appréhendés quotidiennement en république voisine avant d'être rapatriés sur la frontière, a constaté un collaborateur de Haiti Press Network.

Des responsables d'organisations internationales assistent à l'arrivée des Haïtiens qui sont reconduits par des militaires dominicaines.

Ces organisations se chargent de reconduire les refoulés dans leur région d'origine après avoir assuré leur hébergement sur place, à la frontière, a indiqué notre collaborateur.

Pour le mois de juin 896 haïtiens ont été refoulés. Lundi, 77 dont une quinzaine de femmes ainsi que des enfants ont été rapatriés.

© 2000, tous droits réservés - Haiti Press Network

Monday, June 26, 2006 

Caribbean and African countries should share ICT
experiences,suggests CTO

26 July 2006

Caribbean countries that are seeking to develop a regional broadband backbone could benefit from learning about the experiences of Eastern and Southern African countries that have recently agreed to promote a public-private ownership of a common fibre-optic infrastructure for that region. This was the view of Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, CEO of the CTO in making a keynote presentation to delegates who attended the just- concluded three-day 22nd Conference and Exhibition of the Caribbean Association of National Telecom Organisations (CANTO), held in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic.

Dr. Spio-Garbrah was responding partly to sentiments expressed earlier by Ministers and government representatives from the region who bemoaned the region’s inadequate broadband infrastructure, and the absence of a home-grown plan to implement the vision of a fibre-optic cable that would connect all the islands. According to Dr. Spio-Garbrah, while it is understandable that operating companies would take the lead around the world in developing ICT infrastructure, this is often done with the interests of shareholders primarily in view and sometimes inadequate attention to the priorities of governments. It was therefore often useful for policy makers and regulators to first develop their policy and regulatory game-plan for the region and to invite the private sector to help harness the fullest potential of the region. It was in this context that he felt that the recent commitment by some 15 Ministers of telecoms in the Eastern and Southern African region to declare their support in principle to the creation of a Single Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to develop, install, own and operate a jointly owned fibre-optic cable was significant. The proposed Eastern and Southern African cable involving some 23 countries, will connect landlocked countries to the submarine cable known as the EASSy project. The early June meeting of the African ministers was convened under the umbrella of the NEPAD E-Africa Commission, which has been receiving policy and regulatory advice from the CTO, under a World Bank consultancy contract.

The conference was attended by some 600 speakers, delegates, and exhibitors, including government ministers, regulators, executives of operating companies and equipment and service suppliers and consultants. Other keynote speakers included Roberto Blois, Deputy Secretary General of the ITU; Hon. Jerrol Thompson minister of St Vincent and Grenadines and President of the Caribbean Telecoms Union (CTU); Hon Alice Amafo, Minister from Suriname; Hon Kenneth Gijsbertha, Minister from Curacao; Nigel Carty, Minister of St Kitts; along with Leon Williams, Chairman of CANTO and Mrs Regenie Fraser, CANTO Secretary General. In attendance were most of the CEOs of telecom companies operating in the Caribbean.

In his presentation the CTO CEO recognised the Caribbean region as an area with great potential for transformation, using information and communications technologies as a key enabler. He noted that because of the region’s strategic location to North America, and its achievements and potential in the tourism, financial services and entertainment industries, it stood a good chance in obtaining further investments in business process outsourcing (BPOs) and the IT-enabled service industries (ITES) if affordable broadband infrastructure could become more pervasive in the region.

Among the topics discussed at the conference were new generation networks, VoIP, broadband solutions by satellite, regional submarine networks, disaster preparedness, new and emerging technologies, mobile roaming solutions, and mobile entertainment and music.

© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation 2006. All rights reserved


Monday, June 26, 2006 - Philipsburg, St. Maarten, N.A.

Open border

Twelve years after it was signed by then-deputy prime minister Leo Chance, the Franco-Dutch treaty on joint immigration control at Princess Juliana International Airport still has not been ratified by the Dutch Parliament. The main reason is objections by the island territory of St. Maarten, as well as its representatives in the Antillean Parliament.

Much of it has to do with other Caribbean countries for which the French side required a visa, but the Netherlands Antilles and as a result the Dutch side did not. The concern was that while Caribbean nationals would no longer be welcome without such visas, citizens of all members states of the European Union (EU) would, which some claimed could even lead to “genocide by substitution” of the Afro-Caribbean population.

The latter is partly an emotional argument, because while citizens of EU states may no longer require visas for the Dutch side, that does not affect the Admittance and Expulsion Ordinance that only allows them to stay for a certain period of time, unless they can prove they have legal residency on the French side. At the moment they already can establish themselves there freely anyway.

If Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot is correct, much of the concern has actually been addressed in the past decade; among other things, because the Antilles adopted basically the same visa requirements as the Netherlands, the EU and thus France, but with an exception for 13 Caribbean countries in the interest of regional purchase tourism. France has agreed to do the same where it pertains to St. Martin for nine of these countries, leaving only Suriname, Dominica, Jamaica and Guyana.

The reality is that St. Maarten actually had wanted a visa requirement for the latter two countries because of its immigration problem, but Curaçao had pushed the exception for them primarily in the interest of its Free Zone. Considering the recent problems with immigration and human smuggling out of Dominica, some now argue that applying the French visa requirement for that country at the airport which serves both sides of the island might not be such a bad idea either.

There are other issues, such as the authority of the committee in determining what are the so-called “risk flights” to be subjected to the joint immigration control, but if the members to represent the Dutch Kingdom in the committee and accompanying work group are indeed to be nominated by the Island Territory of St. Maarten, there is no reason to believe this will become a problem.

Like it or not, the bottom line is that with the French side opting to remain an integral part of France and the EU, while the Dutch side is not part of Holland, practical ways and means will have to be found to work together in the future so that the principle of free movement of people and goods between the two sides of the island as laid down in the Treaty of Concordia can be maintained.
Without such cooperation, there might well come a day most people on this island would hope never to see, when the border is no longer open.

Copyright ©2006 The Daily Herald St. Maarten


Monday 26 June 2006

Chairwoman of Parliament: ‘Dutch language as subject important’

ARUBA – More attention needs to be paid to the Dutch language in secondary schools. Aruban students in the Netherlands run regularly into difficulties due to insufficient knowledge of the Dutch language.
Chairwoman of Parliament Mervin Wyatt-Ras (MEP) indicated this during the elucidation on the closing statement of the tripartite parliamentary deliberation between kingdom representatives, which took place in The Hague between the 12th and 16th of June.

Wyatt-Ras has decided this time to do the elucidation alone, because Rudy Lampe of the RED party had already given an own account. This time she left the political judgement of the document to the different parties. She obviously didn’t like Lampe’s course of action.

She mentioned that there were some working visits before the deliberation started, like in Tilburg where they met with Aruban students. From this encounter they realized that it is very important for the students to be proficient in the Dutch language in order to be able to successfully follow continued education in the Netherlands.
The transition from Aruba to the Netherlands results in a culture-shock for some students. There are also students that just fit in and have no problems at all. Especially the students that follow higher vocational training in the Netherlands have problems with the Dutch language, while the ones on the universities are less often coping with this problem. We will have to take this problem into consideration with the language teaching in Aruba, said Wyatt-Ras.

The Aruban delegation also met with the permanent representative of Aruba in Brussels, Thijs van der Plas and talked about European Union funds for Aruba; employees of the Education- and Tourism departments of the Aruba House in The Hague; in Amsterdam with PvdA-euro-parliamentarian Max van den Berg, who was willing to explain in parliamentary deliberations in the Netherlands the matters that take place in Europe and that could be of interest for Aruba and the islands of the Neth.Antilles; the Lower House, where they examined the process of digitalization of many official documents that are currently still filed in big orders; and at last they visited the Dutch education-inspection, where they exchanged information on the education innovation and especially the introduction of the ciclo basico and ciclo avansa in the secondary education in Aruba.

© Copyright 2001,


26th June
Region Forges Ahead With CSME
By Darrin Culmer
Although The Bahamas remains outside of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), with Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell announcing last year that the government will not be signing on to the agreement in its first term in office, the majority of the rest of the region is continuing to make strides toward implementing all of the elements of that arrangement.

The CARICOM Secretariat announced last week that regional ministers of finance concluded an important step in the process of creating a CARICOM-wide Development Fund.

Article 158 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas explains that the purpose of the Development Fund is to provide financial or technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors.

Article 1 of the Revised Treaty defines disadvantaged countries as "member states that may require special support measures of a transitional or temporary nature by reason of: impairment of resources resulting from natural disasters, the adverse impact of the operation of the CSME on their economies, temporary low levels of economic development, or being a Highly-Indebted Poor Country designated as such by the competent inter-governmental organisation."

"The establishment of the regional Development Fund has now been assured with the general acceptance by participating Member States of a contribution formula put forward by the Caribbean Development Bank and endorsed by CARICOM ministers of finance," a statement from the CARICOM Secretariat said.

The statement reported that on Tuesday June 20 CARICOM’s Assistant Secretary General for Regional Trade and Economic Integration, Irwin La Rocque, indicated that the formula had been finalised by the CARICOM Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) at a recent meeting held in Jamaica.

Mr. La Rocque reportedly stated that the finance ministers also decided that the Development Fund would be a separate legal entity with its own personality.

The Fund is expected to be capitalised at US$250 million of which US$100 million would be contributed by CARICOM Member States. Twenty million dollars is to be derived from the Petroleum Fund which is operated by Trinidad and Tobago, and the remainder is to come from donor contributions.

"The CARICOM assistant secretary general noted too that the ministers of finance have also recommended to heads (of government) the setting up of two task forces, one of which will be looking at the implementation of the Development Fund with a view to getting it implemented as quickly as possible, while the other will look at mobilising additional resources from the donor community," the statement said.

The CARICOM Secretariat statement indicated that the CARICOM secretary general along with the lead head of government with responsibility for the CSME, Prime Minister Owen Arthur of Barbados, have already approached a number of donors and received "encouraging" responses.

The Bahama Journal - Bahamas News Online Edition
Copyright Jones Communications Ltd. ©2005 - Nassau, Bahamas.


Cabinet approves Environmental
Management Act
Web Posted - Mon Jun 26 2006
By Allison Ramsay

Cabinet has approved a comprehensive Environmental Management Act for Barbados, which will change the legislative and administrative framework for dealing with matters relating to Barbados' environment. This was revealed by Minister of Energy and the Environment Elizabeth Thompson at the Minister of Environment Awards of Excellence at the Gun Hill Signal Station, St. George on Saturday evening.

However, Minister Thompson said there is a need to revisit the policy document "so that we get the philosophy right", to determine what kind of future we want vis-a vis the environment.
"Unless we get it right, the scope for comprehensive intervention will not exist," she said. The minister further disclosed that over the course of the next few months, the Ministry of Energy will announce for Barbados, a National Energy Policy which will be aimed at conservation; a reduction of fuel imports by changing the practices of all sectors of the economy and investing in some degree of renewable energy; and the proper management of Barbados existing fossil fuel resources and the country's use of fossil fuel.

She also said an effort would be made over the next few months to get the police to engage on the matter of the environment and to tre at environmental crime and offences with the seriousness that they deserve. "I think that it is unfair to our staff who work tremendously hard that we do not have the level of support from the enforcement agencies which we need if there is to be behaviou ral change at the national level and if we are to create greater sensitivity to the issue.
It is clear that while Barbadians understand the issue, we are not prepared to change and the only way that will happen is if we use the enforcement mechanism s available to us through the Royal Barbados Police Force."

According to her, the Ministry's goal is also to capture the imagination of the average Barbadian so that "they are able to recognise their role in sustainable development and act on it". Sh e also said protecting our water system and access to energy resources will be key in Barbados' development, while stressing the point that environmental protection is not solely the responsibility of Government, but of all citizens and there must be more militant action to keep our nation in as pristine condition as possible.

On another note, the minister announced that a change will come to the Environmental Awards. Next year, there will be an award given to a member of staff for creating a project which makes a difference at the community level and in the delivery of environmental services to Barbados.

Barbados Advocate ©2000


'Burying' HIV/Aids $13m to fight pandemic

Monday, June 26th 2006

The Tobago House of Assembly has allocated over $13 million to fight the spread of HIV/Aids in Tobago, Chief Secretary Orville London has disclosed.

He said the prevention of the spread of the disease was more critical than treatment at this point. He was speaking at the commissioning of the 18-member Tobago HIV/Aids Coordinating Committee headed by Archdeacon Phil Isaac last week Wednesday.

"We are all partners and soldiers in the fight against HIV/Aids since it is a battle that is being waged on a daily basis," he said. London said members of the committee needed to ensure that all Tobagonians were involved in the fight and urged them to spread their wings and influence those out of their offices and into the hearts of the public since this was the beginning of the wider "we". The Chief Secretary who recently assumed responsibility for this aspect of the campaign said there were three major threats on the island, crime, dealing with HIV/Aids and the negative attitudes of people.

He said: "Prevention is more critical than treatment and at present the mindset of persons need to change. A lot of money is and will continue to be spent on dealing with the disease and as a result the treatment of mirroring organisations needs to be dealt with since there is no need for a pool of organisations to fight one situation when there is a committee designated to deal with all aspects of the problems associated with combating the disease."

London said the day marked a small step in a long journey and it was his dream that one day when persons were tested there was a negative result than a positive one. "HIV/Aids must be dealt with in the light, not in the dark," he asserted.

Health Secretary Aldington Spencer said there needed to be a "burial" of HIV/Aids and it was the intention of the Assembly to make this a reality.

He said: "This day marks the nail in the coffin of the fight against the disease." He said it took time to officially launch the committee since the right kind of persons was needed to get the job done. Among those receiving instruments of appointment to serve on the committee were Pastor Rollin Bacchus, Jason Caesar, Sandra Orr and Ann Marie de Gazon.

© Tobago News

Sunday, June 25, 2006 

Financing Caribbean Development
Sir Ronald Sanders
Sunday, June 25, 2006

Banks are not institutions that normally attract praise for their good work. But the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is an exception. The CDB was born in stormy circumstances in January 1970 after considerable debate and rancour among governments of the Caribbean.
The smaller Leeward and Windward Islands had laid down, as conditions for joining the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) in 1968, the creation of the Bank and their priority access to its funding. They had also argued for its headquarters to be located in St Vincent.

CARIFTA was an economic integration grouping of the Leeward and Windward Islands with Belize, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. It was the predecessor organisation of the present Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Jamaica had also wanted the CDB's headquarters, and the then Minister of Finance, Edward Seaga, had pushed strongly for it. In the end, and as a compromise, the Bank was established in Barbados, but the first article of its charter specifically required it to have 'special and urgent regard to the needs of the less developed members of the region'.

Over time, the Bank has built up a meaningful relationship with its borrowing member countries, although in its early years it was severely criticised by governments of the less developed countries.

The leaders of some of these countries, at the time, felt that all that was necessary to get funding was a letter of request to the CDB's president, and they were impatient with the necessity for projects to be evaluated for their viability.

Yet, it is the CDB's professionalism in adhering to the rules of project appraisal and evaluation that has allowed it to become respected and to attract financing from larger institutions, such as the World Bank, for on-lending to its borrowing countries.The Bank raises funds through the issuance of debt securities to institutional and retail investors as well as lines of credit from international financial institutions.
Had the CDB not insisted on sticking to international best practices in evaluating and approving loans, it would have not won the confidence of larger financial institutions and would have long since collapsed. And the development of its borrowing countries, who have been the beneficiaries of its operations, would have been retarded.

From its inception in 1970 to the end of 2005, the CDB has contributed US$2.6 billion to improving the lives of its 17 Caribbean borrowing member countries.

On the face of it, US$2.6 billion among 17 countries may not seem significant, but these small countries have a combined population of only five million people stretching from Belize in Central America, through the chain of Caribbean islands to Guyana in South America.

And the loans, equity and grants have been made in crucial areas among which are roads, transportation - air and sea transport; rehabilitation after disasters caused by hurricanes; education; and low-income housing.

Sticking to its obligation to give special and urgent regard to the needs of the LDCs' over the period 1990 to 2005 the CDB has provided US$1,194.1 million or 57% of total disbursements to these countries. The LDCs also received 71% of disbursements from the Bank's special operations.

It is difficult for many of these countries to access financing directly from larger institutions such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. For, while the sums involved are fairly large in relation to their economies, they are small in comparison with the portfolio of loans and equity funding required for huge projects in far larger countries.

But the amount of time and resources necessary to conclude a transaction for a large project is almost the same for a small one. Therefore, funding small projects is an expensive exercise both for the lender and the borrowing country, and the large financial institutions have shied away from it.

Consequently, a smaller development bank dedicated to the needs of small countries is crucially important to the countries of the Caribbean, and if the CDB did not exist today, it would have had to be created.

As an example of the importance of the Bank to its borrowing countries, after the devastation of Grenada by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and the further damage by Hurricane Emily in 2005, the CDB played a major role in financing the country's rehabilitation.

Restoration of water and electricity to affected areas was immediately financed by the Bank, which is also funding suitable housing for low-income households, the replacement of damaged bridges, and the improvement of roads.

Jamaica and Guyana, two of the so-called More Developed Countries (MDCs), also benefited from the Bank's lending in 2005. US$54.1 million was provided to Jamaica to continue construction of a coastal highway, and Guyana received US$5.6 million under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative.

Beyond the loans, equity, and grants that it has made available to individual Caribbean countries, the Bank has also provided support to regional initiatives that may not have materialised otherwise. For instance, the CDB raised the US$100 million necessary to finance the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

The CCJ is the court of original jurisdiction for disputes between signatory countries of the revised CARICOM Treaty and is now the Court of final appeal for Barbados and Guyana. If constitutional changes are accepted by a referendum in each of the other CARICOM countries, the CCJ will replace the British Privy Council as the final appellate body for those countries as well.

Apart from the CCJ, the CDB also provides assistance to the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM), the group that undertakes the region's technical trade negotiations with other countries and regions and within the World Trade Organisation.

The Bank has also played a central role in the formulation of the Regional Development Fund whose establishment came to be a key condition of the Leeward and Windward Islands of CARICOM joining the Caribbean Single Market, which was started by Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago in January this year.

The CDB proves that, once Caribbean institutions adhere to international standards and best practices, they can gain international respect while fulfilling their obligations to the countries for whose benefit they were established. Sir Ronald Sanders is a business executive and former Caribbean diplomat who publishes widely on Small States in the global community.

Responses to:

Copyright© 2000-2001 Jamaica Observer. All Rights Reserved.


June 24, 2006, 4:48PM

OECS Chief Hopes to Beat Deadline

Associated Press Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The chairman of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States said the nine-member bloc was committed to joining a regional single market economy but would not confirm if it would be ready by an agreed-upon June 30 deadline.

The nine-member bloc signed a declaration of intent to join the Caribbean Community's single market economy by the end of the month, but Baldwin Spencer, organization chief and prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, on Friday would only say he was "hopeful" that all the bloc's small island nations would become part of the single market by the deadline.
"We are always very hopeful and we believe things will work themselves out. June 30th is not a magic day _ but it is a commitment that we had made sometime ago," Spencer said at the close of the organization's 25th anniversary meeting in St. Kitts.

The organization has long voiced concern about the trade imbalance between their eastern Caribbean countries, which share a common currency, and the 15-nation Caribbean Community.

The prospect of joining the single market has been divisive because some predict it will cause an influx of people from poorer nations and because eastern Caribbean nations fear they will not be able to compete with larger Caribbean Community economies such as Trinidad and Jamaica.

The OECS, formed in 1981, is made up of Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Montserrat, St. Lucia and Anguilla.

© 1985 - 2002 Hearst Newspapers Partnership, L.P. All rights reserved.

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