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OVER 300 CHILDREN TO BENEFIT FROM FESTIVAL QUEEN PROJECT

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KINGSTON, Nov. 4 (JIS) – Over 300 wards in three children’s homes will directly benefit from gifts obtained under the Guardian Anjell Play and Learn Project.

The homes, one from each county are: the St. John Bosco Boys’ Home in Mandeville (Middlesex); SOS Children’s Village in Montego Bay (Cornwall); and the Jamaica National Children’s Home in Kingston (Surrey).

The initiative, which is the national project for the reigning Jamaica Festival Queen, Anjell Bryan, is being sponsored by LASCO Financial Services and the Guardian Group Jamaica to the tune of $425,000. LASCO is contributing $200,000, with Guardian providing the remainder.

Speaking at the launching ceremony at the offices of Guardian Life in New Kingston today (November 4), Ms. Bryan said the idea for the project came after experiencing the gratitude, joy and sincere appreciation from the children, whose lives have been positively impacted by acts of kindness.

“Guardian Anjell Play and Learn was inspired by experiences from visiting child care institutions (through voluntarism) and I have always been determined to make a difference in whatever way I can to shaping the lives of these children,” she said.

She called on Jamaicans to invest more in the lives of the “creative and talented” wards in state institutions.
“Our collective donation will make each child continue to feel loved, appreciated, special and valuable to society,” she said, adding that the handing over of the gifts will be done in a fun and celebratory environment.

Executive Director, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Delroy Gordon, informed that since the introduction of the national project aspect of the Festival Queen competition, there have been several innovative ventures.

He noted that with the onset of the Christmas season, the project will serve to brighten the lives of the children.
Manager, Public Relations and Communications, Child Development Agency (CDA), Prudence Barnes, said the initiative is timely and will assist in providing well needed items for the children.

She extended gratitude to Ms. Bryan and the JCDC for conceptualising and implementing such a “creative and visionary” initiative.

“We commend you for the interest you have taken in the lives and well being of Jamaica’s most vulnerable children and for using the platform that you have been given to make a positive difference to them and to the nation as a whole,” she said.

She informed that while the Government spends approximately $2 billion on child care state facilities each year, partnerships such as the Guardian Anjell Play and Learn Project are welcomed.

The Guardian Anjell Play and Learn Project invites individuals, from public and private entities, service clubs, among others, to create gift packages, which will be donated to the children. Gift packages may include toiletries, games, books, school supplies, toys, among other items.

Each gift will be labelled to indicate the gender of the child as well as the age group for which it is best suited.

The first phase of the project will see gifts being collected for the period November 4 to December 6, 2014 and distributed in the homes on Saturday,
December 13, 2014.

The second phase of the project will run in May 2015 in tandem with Child’s Month and National Reading Week. The collection period will be from March 2 to

April 30, 2015 and the distribution of gifts will take place on May 30, 2015.

Persons may drop off gifts at the JCDC’s corporate office on 3-5 Phoenix Avenue or parish offices, as well as Guardian Life branches island-wide.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Bahamas News

Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Will US President Biden deliver on Climate Change funding?

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, October 1, 2022 – US President Joe Biden has reiterated his promise that low income countries, which are also low carbon emitters will receive increased climate aid from the US to the tune of $11 billion per year.

The President was speaking at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly recently where he maintained his administration was working with Congress to get the funds which would ‘help lower-income countries implement their climate goals and ensure a just energy transition.’

The plan was announced in September 2021 and is a reflection of the USA’s part in the 2010 global pledge made by developed countries to give $100 billion annually in climate financing to developing nations each year.  Biden has indicated that the plan will be in effect by 2024.

While he stressed at the UN that the need is ‘enormous’ the President is having trouble convincing lawmakers at home.  So far the funding which must be approved by Congress has not materialized. The United States Congress is known for having a particularly tight hold on the national purse in regards to climate change funding.

In fact congress dedicated only a little over $1 billion to climate change this year according to Bloomberg.  The US also has a history of promising funding for climate change but not delivering on those high priced promises.

Whether this $11 billion will actually get to nations like those in the Caribbean region is yet to be seen.

This year, the General Assembly heard from 190 speakers, including 76 Heads of State, 50 Heads of Government, four Vice-Presidents, five Deputy Prime Ministers, 48 Ministers and seven Heads of Delegations according to General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi as he summed up the first in-person General Debate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Caribbean News

Hurricane Ian impact on Cayman Islands

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, October 1, 2022 – The Cayman Islands experienced fierce winds and high seas from Hurricane Ian on Monday, as the storm passed offshore, causing little lasting damage.

Some areas on the island experienced flooding as low-lying condo complexes and some residential back roads were inundated with water. Almost 4,000 homes were without power on Monday; however, most had electricity restored by the evening.

There were also no reports of any injuries, deaths, or serious structural damage.  The country started its restoration process on Monday afternoon, clearing debris from the roads, surveying the damage and providing support to residents where needed.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, Premier of the Cayman Islands Wayne Panton said he was pleased with how residents handled the situation.

“While we have been very fortunate to have been spared the worst of a potentially very serious storm, I’m extremely pleased to have seen the efforts made by the Caymanian public to prepare for ‘the worst, while praying for the best. In this situation, this is simply the safest, most strategic thing to do,” the Premier said

Despite the all-clear being issued on Monday evening, the Ministry of Education announced that government schools will remain closed to students until Wednesday, 28 September.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, authorities have declared emergencies in six areas, with forecasters warning of storm surges on the coast along with flash floods and mudslides.

Tens of thousands of people were told to leave their homes and seek shelter. Cuba could see up to 12 inches of rain from Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian dramatically intensified and is blamed for at least two dozen deaths in Florida; where the storm struck with near category five force winds and a near 20 foot storm surge.

Over 700 rescue operations were activated in Florida in the aftermath of the storm, which is still wreaking havoc in the U.S.

 

Cayman photo credit:  RC Cord

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