#Barbados, April 27, 2020 (CDEMA) – Following seven (7) years of unwavering and exemplary service to the region, Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Mr. Ronald Jackson bids farewell to the Agency as of Thursday April 30, 2020.
Mr. Ronald Jackson was appointed Executive Director of CDEMA on April 3, 2013 and has since provided outstanding leadership to the CDEMA Coordinating Unit and in the implementation of the Agency’s policies and programmes. Mr. Jackson has also provided sterling leadership of the regional coordination and responses to Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent after the Christmas Trough in 2013, Tropical Storm Erika in Dominica in 2015, Hurricanes Irma and Maria (impacting 9 of CDEMA Participating States) in 2017, Hurricane Dorian in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas in 2019 and in the current COVID-19 Pandemic now affecting the region.
Under his stewardship, the Agency gained further recognition and prominence throughout the Caribbean and globally as one of the foremost regional disaster risk management institutions and a preferred partner for a safe and more resilient Caribbean. He has forged relationships and cultivated several strategic partnerships with a broad-based and diverse range of regional and international development partners, donors, governments, private sector entities and non-governmental organisations.
His commitment and advocacy in promoting and advancing the implementation of the Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy and Framework for the Region, has captivated many audiences across the globe, resulting in a significant increase of resources through donor financing support to the implementation of Disaster Risk Management programmes in Participating States. He led the development of the Caribbean Pathway to Resilience and spearheaded its socialization within the region and among the Americas. Mr. Jackson was also instrumental in the strengthening of cooperative arrangements with the Disaster Management Organization in the Dominican Republic, with the French Overseas Territories and the Dutch Caribbean. CDEMA’s Membership also increased from 18 to 19 under his stewardship.
“This is a bitter sweat moment for me. I am excited at the opportunity to be able to practice in a global capacity but I feel a sense of duty to the Caribbean Community and as such a part of me will miss working in a context that inspires innovation. However, I feel that I am leaving behind a wonderful platform for the continued advancement of the Region’s Integrated Risk Management Agenda and the continued growth of the Agency”, said Jackson.
Mr. Jackson has been extensively involved in disaster management at the national, regional and international level in various capacities. He served as the Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) in Jamaica, a position he held between August 2006 and March 2013. He also currently lectures on Disaster Risk Management in the Tourism and Occupational Health and Safety Masters Programme at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill and Mona.
CDEMA is extremely appreciative of Mr. Jackson’s service and the legacy he leaves in building a culture of safety and a disaster resilient region.
CDEMA also takes this opportunity to wish Mr. Jackson the very best in his future endeavours.
Barbados bestows Humanitarian Award on PAHO director Dr. Carissa Etienne
By Shanieka Smith
#Barbados, November 25, 2022 – The newest recipient of Barbados’ Humanitarian Award is outgoing Pan American Health Organization Director, Dr Carissa Etienne. The government of Barbados grants this award to frontline workers who were instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Upon receiving the award, Dr. Etienne expressed her gratitude for the recognition, noting, however, that she was more grateful for the opportunity to have served on the island. She also praised Prime Minister, Mia Mottley for her diligence in leading the country and regional involvement during the pandemic.
Humanitarian medals were also given to Frontline workers who risked their own safety to ensure the needs of the public were met. Those who held supporting roles on the frontline received humanitarian lapel pins, and those who made generous donations were given humanitarian plaques.
Dr. Etienne highlighted one major lesson from the pandemic, “we are only safe when the weakest among us is also safe”.
Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show
By Dana Malcolm
#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – “We have a humanitarian concern of course but we can only absorb so much” was how Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service in The Bahamas addressed the issue of the UN constantly nudging Caribbean countries about the deportation of migrants and recommending that it not be done.
He was speaking Thursday November 24 with Cheryl and Zhavargo on First Edition which airs on RTC FM.
While acknowledging that the UN offices likely ‘have to do what they do’ Minister Mitchell explained that the current irregular migrants trying to get into the Bahamas did not fit the bill of ‘refugees’ as defined by the UN.
“We have a treaty obligation that says that if people have a fear of persecution in their home country that we have an obligation to take them in as asylum seekers. The people who come through on these boats from the south of us are not asylum seekers. They are afraid of poverty and that’s a difficult issue but in a legal sense we’re not obligated to embrace people on that basis.”
He cited a study that had found, on any given day there were around 7,000 illegal migrants in The Bahamas trying to get to the US maintaining that his chain of islands had to take a stand on the issue. The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that TCI was in an identical situation, citing also the the cultural effects of irregular migration.
“There is a cleavage which has developed in our own society over this; people are very concerned that we could lose our identity if we do not get on top of it.”
Earlier this year Arlington “new sheriff in town” Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks and Caicos had described statements calling on surrounding countries to do more to assist persons fleeing Haiti as “reckless and misguided.”
“Haiti has a population of 11.6 million people. How could any small developing state like the Turks and Caicos Islands assist that number of people or even the smallest fraction of them? We have a population of some 47,000 persons, and our health care, education and other social systems remain fragile and could never withstand an influx of refugees. This would be a risk to our very own livelihood,” he had said.
He was interviewed in the same show on Thursday prior to Mitchell and expressed a similar determination to crack down on illegal migration.
“I want to stress this. If we catch anyone harbouring illegals, it could be my mommy, she’s going up. We cannot tolerate this. We’re catching the sloops so my Haitian brothers and sisters should stress to them don’t waste your money we’re sending you back.”
Turks and Caicos, this year passed a law, doubling fines and prison times for individuals harbouring illegal migrants.
JAMAICA: Government Revenues Soar
#Kingston, November 25, 2022 – There has been a jump in Government revenue collection, with tax revenues for the first six months of the fiscal year exceeding budget by $35 billion.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, said that the out-turn is as a result of higher-than-expected economic performance.
“The first quarter growth came out at 5.7 per cent… and all categories of revenue are over budget. Revenues from income and profits are up by nearly 13 per cent or $10 billion,” Dr. Clarke said.
In addition, he noted that revenues from production and consumption are up by seven per cent or $7 billion and revenues from international trade are up by 15 per cent or $18 billion. Revenues from motor-vehicle licences for the first six months of this year are 16 per cent higher than budgeted.
Dr. Clarke was speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (November 22) where the First Supplementary Estimates for 2022/23 were approved.
The approval reflects a revised expenditure of $971 billion, from the previously approved budget of $912 billion for the financial year.
Minister Clarke said the First Supplementary Estimates come within the context of positive overperformance of the economy.
“As a result of this revenue overperformance… we are able to come to this Parliament six months after and put a Budget that proposes $60 billion in new expenditure,” Dr. Clarke said.
The largest component of the supplementary budget is the allocation for public-sector salaries and wages in keeping with the restructuring of compensation.
“We are allocating $16 billion there and there is another $2 billion to the Ministry of Health and Wellness and then about $3 billion for statutory deductions, making a total of $21 billion,” the Minister said.
Contact: Latonya Linton
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