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Haiti reluctant on Covid-19 Vaccine, Residents say they don’t wear masks because they cannot afford them



#Haiti, April 14, 2021 – Haiti, the home for over 11 million people, is in the latest Coronavirus pandemic controversy for their reluctance in applying for Covid-19 vaccines despite the rising cases of Covid-19. For more than a year of the Covid-19 pandemic in the nation, the national response towards combating the disease remains very poor, as the residents cry foul over the scarcity and high prices of masks.

“The state government is supposed to give us masks, give us masks to wear for the coronavirus. But they don’t give us the masks, and we don’t know where to go and buy them. They sell them at a higher price for us to be able to afford them. We are poor; we can’t afford them. Therefore, we don’t wear masks. The coronavirus hasn’t hit us. I’m not saying it’s not here; it hasn’t hit us”, said a vendor, who was one of the respondents interviewed.

Even though Haiti is among the Caribbean countries that did not meet the deadlines for the requirements needed to get vaccines, the virus seems not to have taken a toll. Most of Haiti’s residents know no meaning of masks, and a few who believe in self-protection can hardly afford one.

Given that Haiti hasn’t imposed strict Covid-19 measures or a serious lockdown, the residents go on with events and activities almost like it was in the Pre-coronavirus days. Despite the government citing a lack of proper vaccine storage facilities, the Haitian culture has historic issues with vaccines, as some are suspicious the coronavirus vaccine could make them sterile.

While Haiti could have receive its first batch of vaccines for a pilot program, they country showed no interest in the UN-backed COVAX vaccine. Being among the 92 low-income countries listed by the UN as qualified for free doses, Haiti is set to receive the first batch of 756,000 doses of Astrazeneca vaccines in May.

On the other hand, Haiti’s story is also one of remarkable success.   A low infection rate despite hardly any break from cultural norms.  The country still held its annual Karnaval in February, which attracts thousands of people; no obvious spikes in the contagion were reflected.

According to data, Haiti, with about 11 million people, recorded about 12,700 cases with only 250 deaths, while the neighborhood  Bahamas, with nearly 400,000 people, recorded around 9,400 cases with around  200 deaths.

Comparing the two countries, Haiti seems to be doing incredibly well, even though the data is suspected to be underreported; but this is said of just about every country. 

With 104 new cases of the coronavirus recorded in the past 15 days, many not believing in the existence of the Covid-19, very few public health restrictions, and hardly anyone wearing masks due to high poverty levels, the country appears to be in no grave danger of Covid-19 and this takes the foot off the accelerator of securing vaccines for Haitians.

Caribbean News

CHTA President Praises Jamaica’s Hurricane Preparedness, Assures Ongoing Support



KINGSTON, Jamaica– President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), Nicola Madden-Greig, has praised the strength of local and regional public-private sector partnerships, while congratulating tourism stakeholders across Jamaica for their strong level of preparedness in weathering the dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Beryl, which impacted the island this week.

“Jamaica was spared the worst of the hurricane and we have now returned to regular business operations,” said Madden-Greig, who rode out the storm at her office in Kingston. She reported that Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay and Ian Fleming International Airport in Ocho Rios opened today, while Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston will open on Friday, July 5, after minor repairs are completed.

“We have no reports of any guests being injured during the passage of the storm, and the majority of the hotels and the tourism industry in general have emerged unscathed,” Madden-Greig added.

However, she expressed concerns for the south coast of the island, where many local communities were impacted, along with several independent hotels and villa operations.

“We will be including these operators in our disaster relief efforts, particularly in the Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth area,” she noted, explaining however that she had little doubt that this resilient community will rebound in the shortest possible time.

The trade association leader was encouraged with the reports emanating from the Cayman Islands, which confirmed no major impact on the sector there. “We are thankful to God for sparing us for the most part, and we are now resolved to getting our industry back on track, while serving communities (especially those in the Grenadines) who are in dire need at this time,” said Madden-Greig.

Individuals, businesses and organizations that want to contribute to regional hurricane relief efforts may make a monetary donation at

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Caribbean News

CARICOM raising profile and priority of its Migration Policy; curbing challenges ‘a tall order’



Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer


The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is committed to work with Member States and other stakeholders to implement a “forward-thinking regional migration policy,” according to its Assistant Secretary General, Alison Drayton.

Addressing the opening of a recent three-day workshop titled “Towards a Regional Approach to a Migration Policy in the Caribbean,” in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, she said it is evident that the Region has been facing, and will continue to face, various challenges that affect the lives and livelihoods of Caribbean citizens.

“Namely, due to Climate Change, which has amplified displacements and the need for persons to migrate from areas that threaten their livelihoods or limit their opportunities to prosper and provide for their families,” the ASG told the forum, adding that the Climate Change and natural disasters remain “key drivers of displacements in the Region.”

“With the frequency and magnitude of events likely to increase in the future, this has contributed to many regional States facing demographic decline, which has impacted their workforce, our younger population seeking job opportunities outside the Region, and many key sectors being negatively impacted,” she stated.

The CARICOM official underscored that tackling the challenges would be “a tall order,” hence the Regional body’s commitment that would help address various aspects of Regional migration and human mobility as determined by Member State priorities.

Lauding the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for hosting the workshop, and the and valuable technical contributions made by the United Nations (UN) Migration Group and financial contributions from the United States Department of State, the European Union, and the Inter-American Development Bank, she said  the their efforts have been significant.

The contribution made by International Organization for Migration (IOM), has advanced the policy, with provision of consultancies to coordinate the Community’s work through the Regional Approach to Migration Policy (RAMP) Steering Committee and development of the framework, she highlighted.

For Trinidad and Tobago’s National Security Minister, the Hon. Fitzgerald Hinds, his country is also committed to contributing to the development of a regional migration policy framework that reflects the priorities of the people of the Caribbean Community.

“As we embark on this journey together, let us harness the expertise, the insights and the experiences that we already have among us as we gather here today to shape the policy framework that is in front of us,” the Minister said, adding that the current migration realities “should prepare us for future challenges.”

The technical workshop brought together National Focal Points from the CARICOM Member States, and representatives of relevant regional and international organisations, building on IOM’s Migration Governance Indicator (MGI) assessments, and other consultations held with national Governments of CARICOM Member States in 2023.

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Caribbean News

Government Earmarks $300M for Post-Hurricane Dengue Mitigation



#Kingston, Jamaica, July 19, 2024 – The Government has earmarked $300 million to ramp up dengue mitigation activities, inclusive of fogging, treatment of mosquito breeding sites, removal of bulky waste and drain cleaning, in the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl.

Addressing the House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 16), Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said the funds have been allocated to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, which will spearhead vector-control activities over the next six weeks.

He further informed that the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and National Works Agency (NWA), “are technically involved in this dengue mitigation [exercise] by trying to clear the environmental conditions that would create the growth in the vector”.

Mr. Holness highlighted the potential for a significant increase in the dengue vector, the Aedes aegpyti mosquito, which breeds primarily in containers, consequent on  the hurricane’s passage.

“We know that many communities are being plagued by the increase in the mosquito population… and other vectors [such as] roaches, rats and flies. Therefore, the cleanup and removal and clearing of waterlogged areas is of critical importance,” he emphasised.

The Prime Minister noted that the hot summer conditions, along with rainfall, will further contribute to heightening the possibility of an increase in these vectors and the transmission of diseases.

As such, he appealed to Jamaicans to properly store water in covered containers and destroy mosquito breeding sites around their homes.

“I urge all homeowners who are storing water and… leaving the containers open, that an easy way to control the growth of the mosquito population in your households is to cover the containers,” Mr. Holness said.

He pointed out that the NSWMA will shortly announce a schedule for the removal of bulky waste from homes.

Prime Minister Holness further indicated that the NWA will be actively cleaning various gullies.

Dengue symptoms include fever, headache, and joint and muscle pains. These are often resolved through rest and adequate hydration along with the use of paracetamol to treat the accompanying fever.


Contact: Chris Patterson

Release: JIS

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