By Rashaed Esson
#TrinidadandTobago, April 17, 2023 – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago are hosting a Regional Symposium today, April 17th, 2023 to tomorrow the 18th, at the Hyatt Regency, Trinidad and Tobago, to tackle Crime and ‘Violence as a Public Health Issue.”
Chairing the Symposium is Dr. The Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and Lead Head with Responsibility for Crime and Security.
This symposium comes surrounding an alternative to the region’s approach to crime and violence that is, from a social prevention perspective.
The conventional approach of the Criminal Justice System which heavily focuses on retribution, imprisonment, rehabilitation and restoration, has not been an effective solution to the issue, hence this new health perspective.
The topics that will be is discussion are: “Violence and Health in the Region; Crime and Violence: A Public Health Approach; Mental Health; Transnational Organised Crime; Using Litigation to Protect Gun Violence – Global Action on Gun Violence; Trans-Border Crime; Education and Youth, Domestic Violence; Economic Inequalities as the Driver of Crime and Violence; Community approaches- Restorative Justice; Sports and Mediation; and the Judicial Perspective – Legislation and Juvenile Justice Reform.”
According to CARICOM, the Symposium will take a whole of Government approach and a whole-of-society approach which will involve important organisations, agencies and sectors including civil society, business, community, families and individuals.
A number of CARICOM Heads of Government are taking part in the symposium.
They are: the Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica; Dr. The Honourable Ralph Goncalves, Prime Minister of St.Vincent and The Grenadines; the Honourable Philip J. Pierre, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia; the Honourable Dr.Terrence Micheal Drew, Prime Minister of St.Kitts and Nevis; the Honourable Dickon Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada; the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica; the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, S.C. M.P, Prime Minister or Barbados; the Honourable Philip Davis, KC, MP, Prime Minister of The Bahamas; Dr. The Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; Dr. Carla Barnett, CARICOM Secretary General; and Dr.Joy St.John, Executive Director at CARPHA.
So far, each head has shared detailed perspectives on their view on handling Crime and Violence in the region. One of the views that stood out was that of the Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, who said that the evolution of social media is an accelerant for violence in crime, which was supported by the Honourable Terrence Drew, Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis who labeled social media as a conduit to transmit violence.
More interesting are promised Tuesday (April 18).
Bahamas Development Bank and Food and Agriculture Organization Partner to Empower Women-Led Businesses
Nassau Bahamas, 29 February 2024- The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) are excited to announce the signing of a groundbreaking contract aimed at advancing the Joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund’s Building Back Equal project.
The initiative is jointly led by UN Women, FAO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It will support women-led businesses in the agriculture, creative, and tourism industries, and will serve as a regional pilot for best practices in gender equitable financing in advancing small island developing states (SIDS).
Gavin Christie, the Bahamas Development Bank’s Deputy Chairman, said, “This partnership signifies a significant step forward for BDB, FAO, and the nation at large. It underscores BDB’s dedication to driving inclusive economic development and gender equality, aligning with the sustainable development goals. As we support and empower women-led businesses, we are fostering social growth and sustainability in The Bahamas.”
Nicholas Higgs, the Bahamas Development Bank’s Managing Director, added, “The collaboration with FAO underlines our commitment to not only bolster the economy but to also ensure that women entrepreneurs are at the forefront of this advancement. By providing these targeted funds, we aim to catalyze a transformation in the industries that help form the backbone of our economy. This initiative is not just about financial investment, but also about investing in the skills and capabilities of women-led enterprises. The empowerment of women is a cornerstone for resilient and sustainable economies, and BDB is proud to lead by example. Through these efforts, we aspire to create a ripple effect that will not only uplift women within The Bahamas but also set a precedent for gender equity in funding across the region and globe.”
BDB is the national coordinating authority on the Joint SDG Fund and has played a crucial role in shaping the project’s design and implementation. The total contract allocation to BDB for the FAO-funded section of the project is $186,000. The proposed blended financing instrument is a collaboration between BDB and FAO, and will combine capital from the Bahamas Development Bank with non-reimbursable funding from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The strategic partnership will provide women-led businesses with access to low-cost capital after undergoing technical capacity development. A portion of the funds will also be allocated to a grants program.
BDB will also sign a similar agreement with UN Women, which will add a further $100,000 to the fund for women-led businesses and further showcase its commitment to empowering women entrepreneurs in diverse sectors.
The Bahamas Development Bank is implementing a streamlined approach to its adjudication process to facilitate a faster decision-making process, ultimately ensuring expedited access to funding for women-led beneficiaries in the program. An announcement regarding applications will be announced in March.
Photo Caption: Standing from left to right are the Bahamas Development Bank’s (BDB) Deputy Managing Director, Dave Munroe; United Nations Country Representative, Aneesah Abdullah; BDB Deputy Chairman, Gavin Christie; Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Representative, Alexis Bonte; FAO Bahamas Representative, Precious Fortune-Thompson; BDB Board Member, Kyron Strachan; BDB Strategic Development and Initiatives Manager, Sumayyah Cargill and FAO Bahamas National Correspondent, Keith Phillipe.
Storm Chasers Gear Up !
#TurksandCaicos, February 27th, 2024 – In the unfortunate event of a hurricane when most people are huddled in bed there’s a group of around 287 people across The Bahamas and soon to come, the Turks and Caicos islands who are in the storm working keenly to provide invaluable insight to meteorologists about the real life impact and intensity of weather events. This is already benefiting The Bahamas department of meteorology, and very soon the Turks and Caicos Islands will also stand to gain. The origin group is Stormwatch Bahamas, which is moving assertively now to hatching Stormwatch Turks and Caicos. We spoke to Craig Lowe, Founder and Storm Rescue Unit Captain for The Bahamas.
“It’s all about growing the weather community and protecting the public.” he explained.
That depends on much needed partnerships with locally emergency agencies. This weekend for the first time a Skywarn Instructor from the National Weather Service will be training both teams to take on the huge task of becoming a Storm Chaser. TCI is already equipped with the president and several volunteers but Lowe says they are always accepting more.
Bahamas Record Tourism Arrivals 2023
#Bahamas#Tourism, February 27th, 2024 – The Bahamas tourism sector set a new tourism record with over 9 million arrivals in 2023, an unprecedented milestone according to the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Investments and Aviation. Air arrivals climbed by 17 percent and cruise arrivals 43.5 percent. This indicates a 38 percent increase over 2022, solidifying The Bahamas as a sought after destination in the Caribbean.
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