Heads of CARICOM to meet in The Bahamas
Prime Minister John Briceno departed the country on Monday enroute to Nassau, Bahamas, where he will attend the 44th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community. The meeting begins tomorrow and ends on Friday. Regional leaders are expected to discuss several challenges facing CARICOM including food security. According to a recent survey done by CARICOM and United Nations World Food Programme, the number of people estimated to be facing moderate to severe levels of food insecurity in the English-speaking Caribbean has risen by an alarming 46 percent over the last six months. Nearly 4.1 million people or 57 percent of the population now face food insecurity. CARICOM’s Secretary General, Dr Carla Barnett explained that the ministries of agriculture of all countries are working together to ensure food security.
Then there is the Climate Change crisis that continues to affect the region which is one of the most vulnerable places on Earth. Discussions surrounding Climate Justice and Climate Reparations are expected to be had. Dr Barnett says that the larger emitters need to take charge and do the right thing.
It is expected that regional leaders will engage with several special guests including the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau who is expected to play a key role in helping Haiti out of its crisis. The actions of criminal gangs have resulted in the complete cessation of fuel distribution in several parts of the country forcing the closure of hospitals and schools and the shutting down of water pumps prohibiting the provision of clean water. The water shortage also has exacerbated the resurgence of a cholera epidemic particularly in poor neighbourhoods. Heads of Government condemn the callous and inhumane actions of the armed gangs responsible for the roadblocks limiting the movement of the Haitian people and goods, the destruction of life and livelihoods and the deprivation of the basic needs of the people. The Prime Minister of the Bahamas Philip Davis says CARICOM needs help to find a solution to the “Haiti Problem”.
The Prime Minister will return to the country on February 17. During his absence, Cordel Hyde will hold over as Prime Minister.