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Statement and Brexit Update from UK Ministers

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Lord Tariq Ahmad, Minister for Commonwealth, UN and South Asia

Lord Tariq Ahmad, Minister for the Commonwealth, the UN and South Asia and Christopher Pincher, Minister for Europe and the Americas

#TCI Office of the Governor – January 29, 2020 — “As the United Kingdom Government’s Ministers of State responsible for our Overseas Territories (OTs), a priority for us, and for the entire Government, has been to work closely with Territory leaders to identify the opportunities and concerns in each OT associated with Brexit.

You will be aware of the recent General Election in the United Kingdom, the resulting new dynamics in the United Kingdom’s Parliament and the decisive action of the Prime Minister to press ahead with Brexit. The United Kingdom is set to leave the EU on 31 January with a deal – the Prime Minister’s newly negotiated Withdrawal Agreement. The Withdrawal Agreement provides for an implementation period lasting until 31 December 2020, a time-limited period of transition before Brexit-related changes take place. We want to take this opportunity to set out what this means for people and businesses in the OTs.

To summarise – during the implementation period, your rights and those of your family members will not change, and neither will the relationship OT companies and NGOs have with the EU.

Many of you may be thinking about how Brexit could affect your ability to travel or live abroad. Firstly, we would like to make clear that eligibility criteria for British passports of all types will not be affected by our departure from the EU. Secondly, the rules on travelling to the EU will remain the same throughout the implementation period.This means British Citizen passport holders will be able to continue to live, work and study in the EU as they do now. The rights of British Overseas Territory Citizen (BOTC) passport holders – including 90-day visa-free access to the Schengen area in any 180 days – will also not change, either during the implementation period or afterwards.

Minister Christopher Pincher, Europe & the Americas

We fully understand the importance of EU funding for a number of organisations in the Territories. That is why the United Kingdom Government had agreed to cover EU-funded projects in the OTs under EDF, BEST, Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ if the EU were to cease payments. As part of the Prime Minister’s deal, there is no longer any risk of this: projects in the OTs under these funding streams will continue to be covered by the EU for their duration.

Businesses in the OTs exporting goods to the EU27 will continue to be able to export tariff and quota-free for the duration of the implementation period. Tariff and quota-free access to the United Kingdom market for OT goods will continue indefinitely. While post-2020 access to the EU27 market is a matter for the upcoming negotiations on the Future Partnership, the United Kingdom Government is absolutely committed to seeking the best possible access for OT goods as part of our future relationship with the EU. During these negotiations the United Kingdom Government will also work to ensure that any post-2020 mobility arrangements agreed with the EU consider the specific needs and requirements of the OTs.

We want to both assure you and to leave you in no doubt that the United Kingdom is absolutely committed to the safety and prosperity of each of our British OTs. Brexit is no exception to this. As we head into the next phase of the negotiations and take up the opportunities afforded by our departure from the EU, including the ability to negotiate our own trade agreements around the world, the continuing priority for the United Kingdom Government is to ensure that the voices of our OTs are heard. And that your priorities inform our approach to the negotiations every step of the way.

The Governor, His Excellency Nigel Dakin, added: “The Governor and Premier’s Office have been in close touch with the UK Government, and in particular Lord Ahmad, over the last year ensuring TCI’s voice has been heard.  While this statement should reassure citizens about the impact of Brexit, the more interesting opportunity is how the United Kingdom now refocuses her attention towards a more global outlook. I anticipate far greater positive engagement with the Caribbean in general, and the Overseas Territories in particular, from 2020 onwards. As a result, I look forward to a visit by Lord Ahmad in the near future. His programme will be designed to ensure he meets, as well as the Premier and Leader of the Opposition, those involved in national security, serious crime and criminal justice as well as seeing the recovery the Islands have experienced since his last post-hurricane visit.”

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Health

CARPHA: Take Action to Avoid the Harmful Effects of Saharan Dust

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February 16, 2024 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is urging persons to protect themselves against adverse health effects of a Saharan dust plume, which has covered many parts of the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) in a Dust Bulletin dated February 9th, 2024 stated, “it is highly likely that particulate matter levels will be above the 24-hour outdoor air quality guidelines” as established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Dr Joy St John, Executive Director, CARPHA, explained “Saharan dust worsens air quality and increases the levels of particulate matter in the air.  This can be hazardous, especially to small children, older adults and people with underlying lung conditions and chronic cardiopulmonary diseases”.  Dr St John added, “Saharan dust can also worsen the health symptoms of those who suffer from asthma, allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)”.

In light of the poor air quality levels, CARPHA is encouraging persons to take steps to avoid the harmful effects of Saharan dust. These include:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible and when outdoors, wear a dust mask (eg. KN95)
  • Utilise a HEPA filter indoors to purify air in individual rooms
  • Persons who use medications for pulmonary conditions should carry them at all times and use as prescribed
  • At the first sign of difficulty while breathing, seek professional medical advice immediately
  • For less severe symptoms, standard allergy medications such as antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays may alleviate symptoms

For more information, please see excerpts from the attached CIMH Dust Bulletin.

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Health

WHO appeals for billions towards better health globally

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#WHO#Health#Funding, January 19th, 2023 – The World Health Organisation is making huge efforts towards global health, launching on January 15th, an appeal for 1.5 billion Us dollars to protect the health of the most vulnerable populations in 41 emergencies globally, this year. In a release, the organization informs that the money will cover health emergencies that need the highest level of response, aiming to reach 87 million people. This is crucial as many will require health assistance this year, according to the WHO Director General.

“This year, an estimated 166 million people will need life saving humanitarian health assistance; this is heartbreaking and it’s avoidable. To do this, we need support totaling 1.5 billion US dollars,” he said.

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World Wetlands Day Clean-up 2024

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#TurksandCaicos, January 18, 2024 – The 2nd of February marks 53 years since the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar.

The DECR will be hosting a clean-up, with the support of the Turks and Caicos National Trust, to celebrate this important conservation milestone, World Wetlands Day 2024, on Saturday, 03 February 2024.

Join us from 7am to 9am to clean-up our wonderful wetlands and help us protect our them! Be sure to bring along a hat/sunscreen, shoes that can get wet and water in a reusable water bottle.

Clean-up locations:

  • Providenciales
    • Five Cays Wetland (meet at Bugaloos)
    • Wheeland Pond (meet at Froggies)
  • Grand Turk
    • West Road Pond (meet at John Missick parking lot)
  • Middle Caicos
    • Meet at Conch Bar Community Centre

The Turks & Caicos Islands boast the protected North, Middle and East Caicos Nature Reserve, which is an area expanding 210 square miles, declared an International Ramsar Site, and the largest within the UK Overseas Territories.

Restoring and protecting the health of wetland habitats is vital to protect the benefits they provide to our islands. Wetlands perform several functions, including:

  • acting as buffers against coastal storms, waves, and surges;
  • absorbing flood water;
  • stabilising soil/sediment, and reducing erosion;
  • absorbing carbon from the atmosphere;
  • filtrating water;
  • purifying air;
  • supporting biodiversity and nurseries for wildlife;
  • sustaining livelihoods through tourism, and fishing; and
  • enhancing our wellbeing.

The DECR can be contacted at aavenant@gov.tc or 338-4170 for more information.

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