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Global Affairs Canada funds CDEMA’s COVID-19 logistics hub operations

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Bridgetown, Barbados July 27, 2020 – Canada continues to show its commitment to the fight against COVID-19 in the region by partnering with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), with its latest approval of funds to support the establishment of the Integrated Regional Logistics Hub (IRLH). A total of CAD$401,359.53 was re-allocated from the Targeted Support to CDEMA Project, towards the operations of the hub, which will ensure the supply of Personal Protective Equipment and other medical supplies to the frontline workers of its 18 Participating States.

“Canada is proud to support CDEMA in establishing the Integrated Regional Logistics Hub. We believe this is a key element of the regional response to COVID-19 that will support CDEMA states with much-needed personal protective equipment and medical supplies, and serve as a foundation for future disaster response efforts in the region,” said, High Commissioner Marie Legault.

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Executive Director (ag) of CDEMA, Elizabeth Riley explained, “Analysis of past significant hazard events in CDEMA Participating States has identified logistics as a fundamental area to be strengthened in our Regional Response Mechanism. This critical and timely support from the Government and people of Canada for the Integrated Regional Logistics Hub will strengthen CDEMA’s capacity to support our Participating States in times of greatest need.”

“As the designated lead in the management of logistics operations for the supply of COVID-19 medical supplies to CARICOM countries, CDEMA is deeply appreciative of the partnership with diverse partners: the Government of Barbados, the Barbados Red Cross and the World Food Programme”, said Riley.

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The IRLH, located in Barbados, serves as a primary repository and transshipment point for COVID-19 relief supplies. Where direct delivery cannot be facilitated to the States, the items will be delivered to the IRLH for organization and storage before national, sub-regional or regional transit.

The funds will also aid in upgrading the emergency telecommunication systems and facilitate training of personnel in logistics and warehouse management through the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM).

Canada is proud to maintain a close relationship with CDEMA and the Caribbean.

CDEMA Press Release from July 21, 2020

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Bahamas News

UK pays for New Air Surveillance for TCI; Gvnr updates that Five Boats coming for Border Security

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 9, 2022 – Several boats in the RTCIPF Marine Branch fleet were upgraded with new radars and thermal imaging capability recently and Governor Nigel Dakin says more is expected including a new base in 2023.

Dakin explained that the thermal imaging capability now on the vessels was a first for the TCI and while it was not unusual for Police vessels to have radars the new ones provided enhanced capability.

“They don’t replace but compliment the land based Radar both helping the vessels lock on to a suspect sloop or fishing boat that the land based radar has identified. However they can also independently extend our radar range as the radars are, of course, mobile and can go out to sea,” he said.

The Governor also indicated that the procurement process has begun for five more boats; a further three vessels for the Police and two for the Regiment.

“The UK will be supplying the maritime surveillance aircraft that, along with our Radar (now under command of the Maritime Police), will help direct these vessels. That will all be controlled from what we expect to be a multi-agency Maritime Operations Centre and we hope ground will be broken on that next year.”

During the National Budget debate in the House of Assembly, Turks and Caicos residents learned of a $1 million commitment by the UK to expand border security through new assets.

All of this comes as the country moves toward creating its own coast guard to protect its waters and forms deeper security bonds with The Bahamas and the United States.

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Bahamas News

Mobile App brings unprecedented access & opportunity to Persons with Disabilities in The Bahamas

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#TheBahamas, December 8, 2022 – Opportunities and services previously out of reach for many Persons with Disabilities (PWD’s) in The Bahamas are now easier to access with groundbreaking upgrades to the ‘AccessAbility’ mobile app innovated by the National Commission of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), through a Bahamian APP developer.

As of January 2023, PWD’s registered on the App will be able to book accessible transportation, allowing unprecedented freedom of movement.

For now, services available on the App include free interpreter services for the deaf and hard of hearing; disaster alerts from NEMA; free registration with NCPD which includes mapped location of registered PWD’s in times of disaster; complaints mechanism; bus routes showing street by street movement ; request for adaptive equipment and other services; business directory for organizations compliant with the Disabilities Act; Career/job listings; as well as trending local and international news and resources.

Financing for the App and the related public education programme was contributed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its Multi Country Office located in Jamaica which serves The Bahamas among five English-speaking countries in the northern Caribbean. The App is available for free download from Google Play and the App Store and is also preloaded on all new devices purchased from local telecommunications provider Aliv in partnership with NCPD.

At the launch event on Sunday (4 December), Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon.  Philip Davis said that The Bahamas aimed to achieve inclusion and accessibility on a level playing field for persons with disabilities and that the App was one of the means through which this could be achieved. He lauded the services provided through the app and highlighted the accessible transportation, one touch access to emergency services and sign language interpretation.

The Prime Minister announced that the Department of Labour will enable job listings in the AccessAbility app, and further reminded employers of provisions in the Disability Act for the employment of one person with a disability for every 100 employees. “I am asking corporate Bahamas to join the Government in recognizing the potential in persons with disabilities and providing employment opportunities that may never have been considered before,” he said.

Other major disclosures made by the Prime Minister included The Bahamas’ ratification of ILO Convention 159 establishing the right of PWD to vocational rehabilitation and employment opportunities, and the successful implementation of the Nassau Airports Development’s Sunflower Laynard programme offering empathetic and specialized service to travelling PWD’s

Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe, said exclusion of PWD’s over the years has been troubling, but the mobile app will help bring the community closer to realizing inclusion and becoming part of the normalcy of the country. “We are elated and moved. PWD’s are celebrating because we have come a long way and UNDP is helping to make a difference” Minister Wilchcombe stated.

UNDP Resident Representative Denise E Antonio said recognizing that Disability Inclusion is a development issue requires continued attention and investment, UNDP supported the Government’s mission to expand digital inclusion to marginalized groups through the Digital Access for All (DAFA) Bahamas Project, specifically focusing on the AccessAbility Mobile App and public education.

She reiterated UNDP’s commitment to improving ICT infrastructure and digital access with and for PWD’s in The Bahamas; advancing gender equality and the empowerment of PWD’s in The Bahamas and forging partnerships to identify challenges and potential solutions to reduce inequalities against Persons with Disabilities.  “It is crucial for governments, public and private sectors, to collaboratively find innovative solutions with and for persons with disabilities, to make the world a more accessible and equitable place,” the Resident Representative noted.

She encouraged Persons with Disabilities to register with the NCPD through the App to ensure they benefit from a wide array of services.

The launch of the AccessAbility mobile app will be immediately followed by a multimedia public education campaign to encourage awareness, downloads, and usage among PWDs.

Technology and digitalization are considered enablers in UNDP’s global service offer of six signature solutions focusing on leaving no one behind. To this end, UNDP partners with countries to develop appropriate digital solutions which help advance poverty eradication, inclusion, equality and crisis resilience.  UNDP Multi Country Office in Jamaica serves Jamaica, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.

 

Release: UNDP

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Bahamas News

Tropical Storm Owen in December?

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

December 8, 2022 – A low-pressure system observed in the Central Atlantic Ocean has led the National Hurricane Center to believe there is a 50 per cent chance a subtropical or tropical storm will develop. They reported on Tuesday,  the system was 800 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands.

NHC said that by Thursday or Friday, the system should move northeastward, where it will interact with a mid-latitude trough, thereby limiting the chances of development.

The potential subtropical or tropical storm would become the 15th named storm of 2022 and will be called Owen.

Here is the very latest forecast:

Central Subtropical Atlantic

Showers and thunderstorms have increased since last evening near a

large non-tropical area of low pressure located over the central

subtropical Atlantic about 850 miles east-southeast of Bermuda.

However, the system remains embedded within a frontal zone, which is

expected to become more pronounced later today as the low begins to

move east-northeastward at 20 to 25 mph toward colder waters and

interact with a mid-latitude trough.  Therefore, while the system

could show some subtropical characteristics today, its chances to

fully transition to a subtropical or tropical cyclone appear to be

decreasing.  Nevertheless, significant non-tropical development of

this low is expected during the next couple of days, and additional

information, including hurricane-force wind warnings, can be found

in High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service.  The

next Special Tropical Weather Outlook on this system will be issued

by 9 AM EST Thursday.

 

* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…30 percent.

* Formation chance through 5 days…low…30 percent.

 

Photo Credit: ACCUWEATHER

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