#TurksandCaicosIslands – December 23, 2020 – Turks and Caicos is hoping the batch of free vaccines which will arrive in the territory early in the New Year will run out so quickly that the TCI would be in line for more, enough even doses to inoculate the entire population.
A first batch of Covid-19 vaccines for Turks and Caicos can immunize ten percent of residents and strong support for the voluntary shot could lead to enough vaccines for everyone.
“If we can’t demonstrate there is demand for the vaccine on the island or if we fail to use those vaccines to deliver the best possible effect it will be hard for myself, the premier and others assembled around me today to make the case that more should be set to us. If we get this collectively wrong, we will end up with a very small and I daresay a very privileged group while the majority are not. We want to avoid that outcome,” explained the Governor in a midday press conference held at the Office of the Premier in Providenciales, TCI.
When British Airways touches down at the Providenciales International Airport on January 7, it will have more than sun-seeking passengers on board; there will be precisely 9,750 doses of the Covid-19 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on board.
It is one of four such dispatches of the coveted CoVax fanning out to UK Overseas territories in a demonstration of support from mother England.
Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Nigel Dakin on Wednesday on national radio and live social media stream made the announcement.
“In the first delivery, we will receive 9,750 doses. Since each person requires two doses, administered 21 days a part, this is enough to vaccinate 4,875 people around ten percent of our population, if we get this right, more will follow.”
While senior residents, medically vulnerable and health care workers have long been touted as first in line for the vaccine once it was available, the territory’s governor will lead the pack by getting the first jab along with his wife.
“Having discussed with the CMO myself and Mandy will be the first to take it, we feel privileged to be in this position. We go into Christmas as a family therefore looking forward to the first weeks of January when we will be able to protect our health and most importantly we both want to take the first step which benefits every resident of these islands.”
The governor said the goal is to get the Turks and Caicos as quickly as possible to herd immunity and he hopes for a rush of residents who will see the vaccine as the way to protect themselves and their loved ones.
“To do that, all of us have to think not only of ourselves but also of the contribution we’re making or not to the these islands. If we get this right, we will give a huge economic boost to TCI. We’ll steal business from others as we increasingly become known as one of the safest destinations in the world. We are not just securing health, we are generating employment and future prosperity and we can get there long before others.”
In considering the fear mongering which has for months been linked to vaccine and the skepticism which exists in the marketplace, he aimed to quell concerns by labelling the act of taking the CoVax as the smartest approach; he also did some myth busting.
“The vaccine we are receiving is the Pfizer vaccine,” he added, “the vaccine does not inject Covid-19 into you. It instead uses RNA to trick the body into producing viral proteins, which then delivers immunity.”
The RNA, scientists have confirmed, cannot alter one’s DNA.
“We have been chosen because we have direct flights in from the UK. Important because the vaccine has to be transported as minus 70° and there is a belief we are ready and prepared to use the vaccine to good effect. This should be seen as another vote of confidence in TCI. Work has already begun on the complex logistics and we are confident we can roll this out across the islands.”
Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Gibraltar will also receive the vaccine from the UK in January.
“This is an enormously generous offer from the UK and a quite extraordinary opportunity for the TCI. Given this is a voluntary program, it’s a moment for us to individually but also collectively seize or to lose. Our destiny is in our hands, we can never say we were not given the opportunity.”
WE GOIN’ KEW: Festival of the Year
#TurksandCaicos, November 29, 2022 – The WE GOIN’ KEW’ festival charity event was a huge success bringing people together to enjoy Turks and Caicos Islands food and cultural performances and organised by the Turks and Caicos Islands Unity Committee.
On Saturday, November 19, 2022, residents from across the Turks and Caicos Islands chain found their way to the Bellefield Landing in Kew, North Caicos, to support what is being described as the biggest festival of the year with an estimated two thousand people attending. The event also saw fifteen vendors present, serving local Twin Island dishes, and featuring three local bands, and artists from The Turks and Caicos Islands and The Bahamas.
Proceeds garnered from the WE GOIN’ KEW Festival will support key projects across North and Middle Caicos and assist with completing the homeroom at Ashley’s Learning Center, according to the Director of the TCI Unity Community, Mr. Alvin Hegner.
Hegner added, “This charitable event was held for the people of the Twin Islands and Ashley’s Learning Center. We wanted to give back to the community while showcasing local food vendors and craft and farmers’ markets. On behalf of the organising committee, I would like to express thanks and appreciation to the people of the Twin Islands for their unwavering support and for helping us to create an extraordinary outcome. Thanks to Sharmaine Clarke for her coordinating efforts on the Twin Islands”.
A special thanks to the event’s sponsors for making it all happen in various ways: The Wine Cellar, Turks Head Brewery, Anderson Media, Big Josh Country Club, Play Big Win Big Entertainment, Prime DJ’s, JACA TCI , Grant Thornton, LEW 1 Shipping, Rasco Sounds, Building Materials DoITCenter, Engel & Volkers, Wymara Resort and Villas, Fortis TCI, FLOW, Dragon Cay Resort, Digicel, MEP Solutions: Electrical and Plumbing, HAB Group, Waratah Construction TCI, RED Hospitality and Leisure & Lady Grace, Catamaran, Mac N Cheese Adventures, The Strand, Beaches Turks and Caicos, BCQS, Turquoise Horizons, Franks Hardware, Delta Electric, AE&S construction, COMO Hotels and Resorts, Caicos Isle Management, Island Drilling, Ports Authority, Turks and Caicos Islands, Robinsons’s Variety, Island Convenience – Grace Bay, Got You Covered, Reliable Security, Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, TCI Ministry Of Health, District Commissioner Of North Caicos Madam Musgrove, and the District Commissioner of Middle Caicos Sir Delancy.
The WE GOIN’ KEW Festival is now an annual event. The scheduled date for WE GOIN’ KEW 2023 is Saturday, November 4, 2023. The proceeds from WE GOIN’ KEW 2023 will assist with housing projects throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands.
TCI Unity is a nonprofit organisation geared towards helping those in need in the Turk and Caicos Islands. Founded during the COVID-19 pandemic, the TCI Unity distributed over 500 meal boxes to families in need throughout the country.
Experts Make Recommendations on Framework to Help Caribbean Access and Use Needed Climate Financing
November 29, 2022 – If Caribbean countries are to survive the impacts of climate change, then finding ways to make the money match their needs will be of paramount importance.
“It won’t be a rainbow that gets you to the pot of gold, it will be a framework that enables us to unlock the type of financing that we need for the actions that we committed to under the Paris Agreement in terms of mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage,” was how Ambassador Jeanine Felson, Senior Advisor on Climate Matters to the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), put it on Monday.
Ambassador Felson was among the regional experts speaking on Monday, November 14 at ‘Aligning Climate Finance Flows with Caribbean Countries’ Climate Resilience Needs’, a panel discussion coordinated by Caribbean institutions at COP27 to highlight the challenges of and propose solutions around climate change in the region.
The panel was coordinated by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the Organisation for Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission and was an official side event at the United Nations’ climate change conference, currently being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Speakers highlighted aspects that needed to be considered, incorporated or strengthened in the effort to build an overall framework that would allow Caribbean countries to be able to access more climate financing and use it effectively.
CDB Director of Projects, Daniel Best, spoke of the new framework which CDB is proposing for determining access to finance by small island developing states, many of which are bedevilled by the twin dilemmas of being very climate vulnerable but also being considered middle income and hence ineligible for concessional financing.
“CDB’s framework includes three tools: the IRC of a country, which estimates the ability to recover from an exogenous shock, the Recovery Duration Adjuster, to anticipate the length of the recovery period after a shock, which is much longer for developing countries when compared with developed countries, and the Vulnerability and Resilience Assessment Tool. These calculations will then provide a more judicious means of determining access to finance for small developing states,” stated Best.
However, he stressed that financing frameworks must be improved and strengthened across the world’s development financing system, adding:
“While international financial institutions may have pledged trillions of dollars to finance building resilience against the effects of climate change, those pledges may end up meaning very little if we do not strengthen the ‘architecture of the international financial system’ to ensure that these financial resources efficiently flow to developing countries and assist in meeting their development needs and boosting growth prospects.”
Head of the Climate Policy Unit at the European Investment Bank, Edward Calthrop shared how their institution was working to do just that, noting that as the largest provider of climate finance globally, the European Investment Bank is seeking to “work with public authorities to be able to quickly develop high quality studies to make sure infrastructure is designed for the future.”
“An important element for accelerating finance is having the capacity to deal with the resilience of projects…. Not just in the Caribbean, but globally, we need to get better and quicker at developing high design standards for infrastructure,” stated Calthorp.
Ways to accommodate for the issues of size and scale were also discussed with speakers noting it was a perennial issue for the region made up as it is of small states. Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Planning and Development, Hon. Pennelope Beckles, suggested ways this could be addressed in building out a framework that allows countries to be able to properly implement climate resilience projects, saying:
“I think it is fair to say that attracting climate finance flows to the Caribbean is a multi-faceted issue. For flows of finance to be effective, recipients must be capable of receiving and utilising such financing. Given the unique nature of the Caribbean, it may also be necessary to create economies of scale that attract feasible investments and climate financing in order to maximise impacts. This, of course, will require coordination and collaboration by all countries of the region to create a uniformed enabling environment across the region.”
Eric Salamanca is TCI’s new Energy Commissioner; TODAY he announces EU funding for Renewable Energy
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, November 29, 2022 – As the globe looks to more sustainable energy, the Turks and Caicos Islands’ renewable energy bill is progressing with the help of a new Energy Commissioner. Longtime resident, Eric Salamanca has taken up the post just when residents are bruised by the pinch of ever-increasing oil and gas prices globally.
The appointment was announced by Jamell Robinson, Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development and Acting Minister of Home Affairs. He revealed the information while responding to queries by residents about the pace of renewable energy implementation in the Turks and Caicos Islands at a town hall meeting in Providenciales on November 21st.
“The bill is being worked on, and hopefully we’ll have some resolution to bring something to Cabinet in the future to be able to take to the House of Assembly to pass. We’ve just appointed our energy commissioner, so once he’s in, he will have sight of the bill to give his input so that can be finalized,” Robinson stated.
An energy analyst by profession, Salamanca worked with the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources and other government agencies before the Energy and Utilities Department. He has over 20 years of experience in his field.
On Tuesday November 29, Salamanca will make a major announcement related to funding accessed by the TCI Government through the European Union.
The programme is dubbed: The Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity Programme (RESEMBID). RESEMBID executive team members will join the press conference, to be held at the Office of the Premier in Providenciales, virtually.
Turks and Caicos Islands is one of 12 overseas territories qualifying for a slice of the 1.4 million euros and in attendance will be Nigel Dakin, TCI Governor and Otis Morris, TCI Minister of Home Affairs, Public Utilities & Transport.
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