Haiti’s former interim Prime Minister G?rard Latortue dies at the age of 88

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
Haitian interim Prime Minister G?rard Latortue attends a conference of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Vienna on Nov. 28, 2005. Latortue has died at age of 88, according to Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry on Feb. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Rudi Blaha, File)

G?rard Latortue, a former interim prime minister of Haiti who helped rebuild and unite the country after a violent coup in the mid-2000s, has died. He was 88.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced Latortue’s death Monday, saying it was a tremendous loss for the nation. He described Latortue as “a reformer, a convinced patriot, an eminent technocrat, a voice of change, of development (and) a supporter of democracy.”

Latortue was a former exile who was sworn in as interim prime minister in March 2004 following months of bloodshed and political strife that left more than 300 dead and culminated in the ouster of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The turmoil at the time prompted the U.S. military to escalate its mission in Haiti.

In a July 2004 interview with The Associated Press in Washington, Latortue vowed to fight corruption and disarm powerful gangs as he requested $1.3 billion from the international community to help rebuild Haiti after the violent revolt.

In September 2005, he welcomed former U.S. State Secretary Condoleezza Rice to Haiti, where she stressed the need for local officials to accelerate the process to hold general elections.

Latortue said at the time that his administration shared the same concerns as the U.S. government and the international community, and that the administration would honor the results of the upcoming elections.

“This government has no concerns whatsoever as to who will be the next president. Whoever that is, we will greet that person with open arms and pass power on to him or her,” Latortue said at the time.

In February 2006, Haiti held general elections to replace the interim government of Latortue, who was succeeded by former Prime Minister Jacques-?douard Alexis. The provisional president, Boniface Alexandre, was succeeded by former President Ren? Pr?val.

On Tuesday, former Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant tweeted that Latortue was “a pragmatic politician who knew how, in a very difficult context, to lead the country to free and democratic elections.”

Latortue had previously served as Haiti’s foreign minister, as a business consultant in Miami and as an official with the U.N. Industrial Development Organization in Africa.

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Beenie Man Ready For Order Of Jamaica National Honor

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Beenie Man says it’s high time he gets awarded the title of Order of Jamaica.

Being one of the most recognized names in Jamaican music with four decades under his belt, Beenie Man says he is done waiting for his national honor. The deejay is gunning for Jamaica’s fifth highest honor, above some other big names in the genre who have, over the years, received national honors.

The dancehall legend was in his element last weekend during a well-received performance at the 2023 Reggae Month Celebration concert. Several government officials were in attendance at the event that saw artists like Beenie Man and Sizzla Kalonji gracing the stage. Among the government representatives was Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, who herself has been a strong supporter of reggae and dancehall over the years.

“Babsy a when you ready fi gimme mine?” Beenie deejays towards the end of his set as he cued his classic “I’m OK/Rum and Redbull” single. “My awards me a talk bout dis time. Mi nuh want no OD. A OJ yuh fi give mi. Order of Jamaica, a me run di country. King of di Dancehall.”

Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange and Koffee

Clearly, Beenie Man was not okay with not getting a national award despite his legendary career and contribution to Jamaican music. Beenie also regularly tribute to Babsy Grange during his set and commends her for spearheading the show to mark Reggae Day and Reggae Month.

“This is reggae month, but this is dancehall,” The Doc said. “Everybody who love dancehall mek me see unnu hands so in a the air. We a bad people we no business bout things. Respect to the Minister, thank you for this star.”

If Beenie Man gets his wish to be honored with the Order of Jamaica, he would join an exclusive rank of people to have the title of “Honorable,” including the Honorable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange and former athlete Usain Bolt, late reggae legend Bunny Wailer, and actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, who was awarded the national honor of OJ in 2022.

Over the years, other Jamaican musicians have been awarded other national honors like Order of Distinction (OD), which is a level below the title of Order of Jamaica. Among the recipients of OD in the dancehall community includes Sean Paul, Shabba Ranks, Shaggy, Usain Bolt, King Yellowman, Lt. Stitchie, and Agent Sasco, who received the honor last year. Several members of the reggae community also has the honor of OD, iuncludes Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, Tommy Cowan, John Holt, Dennis Brown, Millie Small, Gregory Isaacs, Burning Spear, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, Derrick Morgan, Rita Marley, Mighty Diamonds, among others

Perhaps Beenie Man will still accept the honor if he is awarded the Order of Jamaica, but still, the Honorable Moses ‘Beenie Man’ Davis does sound good.


Latto Disappointed About Past Nicki Minaj Beef

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Rapper Latto is reflecting on the surprise feud with Nicki Minaj that saw the artists going at each other on Twitter and trading insults.

In a new interview with Billboard, Latto says she was disappointed with how the incident played out as she moved from being a fan to a ‘rival’ with the Queen of rap.

“It’s difficult navigating through situations like that because there’s a disconnect,” she began. “I will look at myself as a fan of someone and they will view [me] in a whole different light. It’s disappointing. You just got to take it to the chin and keep pushing,” she continued.

The argument stemmed from Nicki Minaj making a comparison between her song “Super Freaky Girl” and Latto’s “Big Energy” after the former was removed from the rap category by the Grammy nominations committee and placed in the Pop category while Latto’s song remained.

Many felt that Nicki Minaj was shading Latto, and the “Lottery” artist responded to Minaj, which led to fans stoking their beef, and both erupted with insults disrespecting each other.

Latto had tweeted, “it’s still giving coke,” which many felt was directed to Minaj.


Latto also said that Minaj using her song as an example was shady to her since their last conversation did not end on good terms.

“[You] being funny bringing me up to defend [you’re] case knowing our last convo didn’t end on good terms. literally told me I’m not ‘flourishing’ and no one cares about my ‘little song’ [on the phone] lol @NICKIMINAJ,” Latto had tweeted.

Latto also shared a recorded conversation between her and Minaj after she reached out to clear the air.

Minaj also insulted Latto’s Caucasian heritage calling her a “Karen.”

“This Karen has probably mentioned my name in over 100 interviews,” Nicki tweeted. “Says she waited in line for Pink Friday wher Barbie chain on, bangs, pink hair…but today, scratch off decides to be silent; rather than speak up for the black woman she called her biggest inspiration.”

Fans also fanned the flames as they dug up old videos of Latto talking about how Minaj inspired her, although she never denied it.

In the meantime, Latto also spoke about getting support from other rappers who helped pave the way before her and how she pays it forward and doesn’t charge female rappers for a verse.

“Real recognize real,” she said and noted that she’s a “girl’s girl” who “utilizes [her] power in uplifting others,” and this means not charging upcoming rappers for features.


Agriculture and the Oil and Gas economy in Guyana

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
Dr. Terrence Richard Blackman, associate professor of mathematics and a founding member of the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics at Medgar Evers College, is a member of the Guyanese diaspora.

By Utamu Belle & Dr. Terrence Blackman

The ninth installment of the Guyana Business Journal (GBJ) and Caribbean Policy Consortium (CPC) webinar series, “Transforming Guyana,” focused on “Guyana’s Agricultural Sector and the Oil and Gas Economy.”

Farming and energy production are seemingly disparate industries, yet they have a bond. Agriculture necessitates utilizing energy resources, like fossil fuels, and producing fertilizers and pesticides. The extraction, transportation, and utilization of fossil fuels can positively and negatively affect agriculture. Because of this interplay, this episode considered the agricultural sector in Guyana and its essential role in Guyana’s emerging Oil and Gas economy.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Lewis reflected on his first visit to the country in 1982, when there was a discussion of the potential for Guyana to become a major food producer in the Caribbean. He pointed out that this transformation did not materialize due to investment needs, technology, infrastructure, and other resource limitations. He defined the present task as leveraging these linkages to contribute to Guyana’s growth and development. He observed, “Because Guyana, regardless of how big and how dominant the oil and gas sector is going to become, beyond the numbers and the statistics, what’s going to happen is the rest of the economy needs to continue to live, and we need to find ways to get that to leverage.”

Dr. Chesney, a leading agricultural professional in the Caribbean who was awarded the Golden Arrowhead of Achievement for his contributions to agricultural development in Guyana and the Caribbean, emphasized that one must understand Guyana’s agrarian sector through its critical link to regional agriculture and food security. Dr. Chesney stressed that Guyana has fully embraced this idea. He noted that in 2020, the nation had taken the initiative of Caricom in agriculture and had been fundamental in accelerating the process, referring to the various farming projects carried out by the present government. Dr. Chesney emphasized that agriculture is not simply providing food and producing primary commodities. Instead, he stated that it is essential for the region’s sustainable progress. Within this context, Dr. Chesney noted that the oil and gas sector provides the opportunity for increasing agricultural activities: “With the proposed refinery and gas-to-shore project, we can produce inputs, whether it be fertilizers, pesticides, et cetera, and better processing capacity because of the cheaper electricity that would be provided.”

He noted that this is a chance to evolve and modify Guyana’s agricultural industry, encouraging individuals to view it as an enterprise rather than an exclusively labor-intensive pursuit. He believes that involving traditional farm product exporters would help provide a steady market with fair prices and would benefit the region’s overall agricultural sustainability.

Dr. Chesney also called for eliminating current obstacles to regional trading, such as inadequate transportation infrastructure, preventing this sector from being more active. Additionally, Dr. Chesney mentioned that non-tariff limitations, such as food safety standards, financing, communication, and geospatial diversification, must be addressed.

Joel Bhagwandin, a professional in the business and finance industries who has worked for over 15 years in the financial sector, reported that Guyana is progressing toward its aim of being developed by 2025. He stated that if one looks at the agricultural GDP growth of the previous ten years, the nation achieved the most significant growth in 2022 at 12 percent, its highest since 2013.

Bhagwandin remarked that the budget for 2020 to 2023 had grown by 65 percent, taking it to a total of GY$15 billion dollars from GY$9.4 billion dollars. He also highlighted that the agricultural sector makes up 25% of the non-oil GDP. He then explained that the government invested in the industry to increase food production and improve regional food security. However, this should be looked at in context with the other sectors. To further this goal, Bhagwandin asserted that infrastructure investments and energy projects were essential for creating value-added products and decreasing energy costs.

When posed a query by a viewer regarding an opinion piece that declared the Dutch disease was “damaging Guyana’s agricultural industry,” The Dutch disease is an economic term for the negative consequences that can arise from a spike in the value of a nation’s currency. It is primarily associated with the discovery or exploitation of a valuable natural resource and the unexpected repercussions that such a discovery can have on the overall economy of a nation. Bhagwandin denied this was accurate. He highlighted that if the exchange rate were to surge, it would cause agricultural exports to decrease since they would become more expensive, and he noted that this is not occurring. He said that while the government is creating a healthy atmosphere for farming, he believed that Guyana’s corporate sector needed to be more creative to take advantage of the opportunities in the agricultural industry.

Dr. Chesney commented that when agriculture is affiliated with the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), the migration of skills becomes crucial. He emphasized that “there is a lack of expertise, not necessarily a lack of labor, in addition to a lack of organization. Some of us are collaborating with universities to investigate how their curriculums can be improved to meet the demands of the intersection of the Region’s agricultural and oil and gas sectors. You must start putting in place that training capacity, enhancing the human capacity of the region to be able to provide the skills that are required.” He also pointed out that it would be unfair to suggest Guyana will experience the resource curse, the significant social, economic, and political challenges unique to countries rich in oil, gas, and minerals due to the relatively well-managed oil and gas industry.

In response to a question posed on efforts being made by the government to give investors confidence to enter the market, Bhagwandin said he is unaware of institutional barriers from a governmental perspective to enter the agricultural sector. He noted, however, that some bureaucracy is related to processes such as approvals, processing of licenses, etcetera. He said the government is investing in improving the overall public service delivery.

As highlighted in this month’s episode of Transforming Guyana, there are many ways in which Guyana’s agricultural and oil and gas sectors can leverage each other to contribute to and drive economic growth. Dr. Chesney predicts that the country will see steady growth in this sector in the coming years, with investment in infrastructure, training, international trade agreements, and business-to-business relationships, and he has cautioned us to manage this growth in the best possible way to ensure optimal outcomes for Guyana and the Guyanese people.

Utamu Belle is an award-winning Guyanese journalist with a career spanning over a decade. Her experience includes writing for print, television, and online media. In addition, she has worked as a Radio and Television host. She is the Founder of A-to-Z Media (Guyana), a News and Digital Editor with Upscale Magazine, and a Digital Coordinator/News Editor with The Guyana Business Journal and Magazine.

Dr. Terrence Richard Blackman is a member of the Guyanese diaspora. He is an associate professor of mathematics and a founding member of the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics at Medgar Evers College. In addition, he is a former Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor at MIT and a member of The School of Mathematics at The Institute for Advanced Study. He previously served as Chair of the Mathematics Department and Dean of the School of Science, Health, and Technology at Medgar Evers College, where he has worked for more than twenty-five years. He graduated from Queen’s College, Guyana, Brooklyn College, CUNY, and the City University of New York Graduate School.

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Guyana: Waiting for ICJ Decision, but also Investing in Security; Part 1

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, is a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

By Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith

This is the first of a two-part series on the ongoing territorial-judicial saga between Guyana and Venezuela. Here we provide some recent developments on Guyana’s oil exploration and production landscape, which have increased the stakes for both nations. In Part II, we examine some of the security investments the government is making while the judicial drama plays out.

Waiting, but …

In a two-part series in OilNOW last fall I described the Guyana-Venezuela territorial drama as a waiting game, in that it evokes memories of the award-winning play Waiting for Godot by the famous Irish playwright Samuel Beckett.[1] The waiting game began in 1962, when Venezuela first formally challenged the validity of the Paris Arbitral Award that had settled the dispute between the Bolivarian Republic and Great Britain over the colony then called British Guiana in 1899. The drama assumed new dimensions when, with green-lightening by the United Nations Secretary General, Guyana took the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2018 after other resolution efforts pursued over several decades had failed.

In keeping with its rules, the Court needed to consider whether it had jurisdiction to hear the case. After deciding in December 2020 that it did, indeed, have the relevant jurisdiction, in March 2021 it gave Guyana until March 8, 2022, to submit its Memorial (case brief) and Venezuela until March 8, 2023, to present its Counter-Memorial. The expectation was that, all things considered, a ruling on the substantive case would be made by March 2024.

However, the waiting game assumed new dimensions last June when Venezuela filed preliminary objections to the admissibility of Guyana’s petition. Under ICJ rules, the proceedings on the merits had to be suspended. Guyana was then given until October 7, 2022, to file a response to the objections and the Court held hearings on the preliminary objections from November 17 through November 22, last. The Court likely will render its judgment on Venezuela’s objections by the end of this coming April. So, the waiting game continues.

Waiting is not a strategy, though. As such, the government has been aggressively pursuing its national development goals, including extracting more of its newly found natural resource and investing some of the revenue derived from it. As Finance Minister Ashni Singh reported in his January 16, 2023, Budget Speech in the National Assembly, 2022 was an exploration banner year: 11 new wells were drilled, 10 of them being in the now famous Stabroek Block, which extends over 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometers) of maritime space. The new discoveries brought the total discoveries to 40, with 35 in Stabroek alone. Moreover, in December 2022, the authorities launched a new Licensing Round, which will run through this coming April.

Production continued apace, allowing for 102 lifts of crude oil, with revenues augmenting the sovereign wealth fund, called the National Resource Fund. Last year the Fund received just over US$1,099 million. After the transfer of US$607.6 to the government’s budget to fund various initiatives, the Fund had a 2022 end-of-year balance of US$1,271.8 million. The new year brought new bounty to the Land of Many Waters, with an additional discovery on January 23 in the Fangtooth SE-1 well, also in the Stabroek Block.

Towards 1 million barrels per day

Also noteworthy is that the Payara project is expected to begin production later this year, yielding some 220,000 barrels per day, and another project, named Yellowtail, is expected to come on stream in 2025 and produce about 250,000 barrels of crude per day. This should be followed by the Uaru project, which is anticipated to produce another 250,000 barrels per day following start-up in 2027. As a result, the country is set to produce about one million barrels per day before the sun sets on the current decade.

Although Venezuela’s energy profile dwarfs that of Guyana, South America’s sole English-speaking republic now boasts having proven more than 11 billion barrels equivalent of recoverable oil and gas. In all likelihood, this figure will increase as exploration continues to reveal the existence of more black gold. Consequently, Guyana is well positioned to reap enormous wealth, which would enable the nation to be propelled into a development stratosphere not contemplated a few years ago. Indeed, last year the non-oil real GDP growth was pegged at 11.5 percent and the overall economy was estimated to grow by some 62 percent, making Guyana’s economy the fastest growing one in the world.

There is, therefore, confidence about robust economic growth and long-term revenues from oil. Last month the finance minister assured parliament that “there will be 136 lifts of profit oil from the Stabroek Block in 2023. Within this, Government is projected to have 17 lifts of profit oil from the producing FPSOs (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessels), earning an estimated US$1,406.6 million in profit oil and US$225.2 million in royalties in 2023.”[2]

Thus, the waiting game continues. But Guyana’s leaders do not have the luxury to simply wait on the ICJ decision; they have the obligation to attend contentiously to the welfare of the nation, which includes addressing matters crucial to its national interest, a key aspect of which pertains to its territorial integrity. In this respect, in a May 2021 OilNOW opinion I argued that pragmatism necessitated the pursuit of complementary imperatives – things that need to be actioned, not just spoken about. For me–then and now–three key imperatives pertain to public education, diplomacy, and investing in security assets.[3] Commentary on the first two are reserved for another time, but the third imperative–investment in security–will be the subject of attention in Part II.

[1] See “Venezuela’s latest move in its waiting game with Guyana, pt. 2,” OilNOW, September 7, 2022, available at Venezuela’s latest move in its waiting game with Guyana, pt. 2 OilNOW.

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Trevelyan family apologizes and offers reparation fund to be managed by The UWI

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

As the global reparatory justice programme advances as one of the greatest political movements of the 21st century, another British citizen, having traced her ancestral past, has apologized and offered reparations.

BBC correspondent, Laura Trevelyan learned that her ancestors were plantation owners in Grenada in the 19th century and enslaved more than 1,000 Africans on five sugar estates. She and other members of her family have committed to giving ?100,000 to establish a fund that will be managed by The University of the West Indies (The UWI). She will also give remarks and a public apology on behalf of her family at a Reparations Forum hosted by the Grenada National Reparations Committee (GNRC) and The University of the West Indies on Monday, February 27. The Forum will be held at the Grenada Trade Centre from 11.30 a.m. (Eastern Caribbean) and streamed live via UWItv.

Laura and her family members having consulted with Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and learning of the CARICOM Ten Point Plan for Reparatory Justice, have collaborated with the GNRC and The UWI to launch a reparatory research fund with the proceeds of the ?100,000 payment.

As an activist institution, The UWI continues its championing of reparatory justice leading greater advocacy, consciousness-raising and the support the CARICOM Ten Point Plan through the University’s Centre for Reparation Research (CRR). This is continued evidence of the regional academy’s pursuit of social justice as part of its core mission.

The UWI ushered a new era in the global reparations movement in 2019 as part of the first-ever Caribbean Reparatory Justice initiative with Glasgow University in Scotland. That led to the establishment of the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research, representing a 20-year commitment of a ?20 million investment. In 2021, this was followed by the personal reparatory gift from the late Brigitte Freeman, another British citizen, who in acknowledgement and apology for her family’s involvement in slavery, contributed US$500,000 to the University’s Global Giving development fund.

In addition to Laura Trevelyan’s apology, the February 27 Reparations Forum will feature addresses by the Hon. Dickon Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles who also serves as Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, Arley Gill, Chair of the GNRC, and Dr Nicole Phillip-Dowe, GNRC’s Vice-Chair and Deputy Director (Ag.) of The UWI Open Campus Country Sites (OCCS).

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CCRIF Hosts Regional Technical Workshop on Parametric Insurance and Modelling for its Caribbean Members

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Over 50 technocratsfrom 18 CCRIF Caribbean member countries and two regional organizations, met face-to-face in Miami over two days – February 16 and 17, 2023 – to deepen their knowledge and understanding of CCRIF’s parametric insurance models and products.

CCRIF also took the opportunity to share with members the upgrades to its tropical cyclone, excess rainfall and earthquake models that are expected to underpin the Facility’s policies for the 2023/24 policy year which begins on June 1, 2023.

The workshop also allowed for virtual participation and about an additional 16 persons from member countries and regional organizations participated online over the two days.

Participants at the technical workshop included officials from the ministries of finance, meteorological officers and disaster risk managers. The various sessions of the workshop allowed participants to delve deeper into the:

o Hazard, exposure and vulnerability modules of the tropical cyclone, excess rainfall and earthquake models and the construct of these modules including the data used

o Upgrades to the CCRIF models and the rationale for the upgrades

o Elements of CCRIF policies (attachment point, exhaustion point, ceding percentage) and how and when policies are triggered

o Use of CCRIF WeMAp – CCRIF’s web-based platform through which members can monitor earthquakes as well as the development of potentially damaging heavy rainfall and tropical cyclones, analyze their intensity and assess their impact, as well as check whether an active insurance policy with CCRIF is likely to be triggered

o Need for incorporating several disaster risk financing (DRF) instruments as part of a government’s financial protection strategy. Trevor Anderson of Jamaica’s Ministry of Finance and the Public Service shared Jamaica’s experience with DRF tools and its approaches to risk layering.

One particularly interesting session was the evolution of CCRIF’s parametric insurance models: The Journey from EQECAT to SPHERA and Beyond. CCRIF’s ability to provide parametric insurance coverage has always been underpinned by its parametric insurance models – which have evolved over the years… moving from off-the-shelf models to CCRIF-customized models and finally to models that are fully owned by CCRIF and designed specifically for the Caribbean and Central American countries.

According to CCRIF CEO, Isaac Anthony, “From its inception, CCRIF has based its operations on continuous improvement, and this has emerged as one of the coreprinciples underpinning the corporate governance framework of the Facility.” As new data and changes and improvements in model development emerge, CCRIF engages in model upgrades to ensure that its members can purchase parametric insurance policies underpinned by the best models of the time, that reduce the incidence of basis risk – a characteristic inherent in parametric insurance.

Anthony further stated that “CCRIF is a sound financial institution and a development insurance company, serving the Caribbean and Central America, providing rapidpayouts to governments within 14 days of a catastrophic event when policies are triggered, even for multi-country impact events as was the case of Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017 and more recently Hurricanes Iota and Eta, which impacted several countries in both regions simultaneously.”

The workshop was led by CCRIF CEO, Isaac Anthony and facilitated by members of the CCRIF management team and CCRIF’s service provider teams ERN-RED and Sustainability Managers. The workshop was made possible with financial support from the European Union in the framework of the Caribbean Regional Resilience Building Facility, managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).

Today CCRIF provides parametric insurance coverage for tropical cyclones, earthquakes andexcess rainfall and the fisheries sector to Caribbean and Central American governments and for tropical cyclones to Caribbean electric utility companies.

Since its inception in 2007, CCRIF has made 58 payouts, totalling US$260 million to 16 of its 24 members. During the 2022 Hurricane Season, CCRIF made 4 payouts totalling US$15.2 million to 3 of its member governments all within 14 days of the event. CCRIF has been designed to fill the liquidity gap to support immediate needs of the government and affected populations and infrastructure, and therefore occupies that critical space in post-disaster needs of governments, between immediate relief (0 – 5 days after an event) and long-term reconstruction and recovery.

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World Bank Group Executive Directors have First-Hand Look at Development Challenges in Belize

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Executive Directors of the World Bank Group last week completed an official visit to Belize where they saw first-hand the challenges and opportunities faced by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

During the visit, the 10 Executive Directors met with the Prime Minister John Brice?o, and Cabinet Ministers, visited World Bank-supported projects, and met with the private sector and the Economic Development Council.

As a small state, Belize’s challenges are multifaceted and these are exacerbated by overlapping crises – climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, among other shocks. The World Bank’s work in Belize supports the country in recovering robustly from these impacts, addressing resilience to climate change and protecting the most vulnerable. Belize is highly vulnerable to natural disasters and approximately half of the country’s population is poor.

“Belize is making progress, particularly in addressing climate change and protecting the most vulnerable, as outlined in the country’s newly launched medium-term development strategy,” said Ayanda Dlodlo, Group Spokesperson and Executive Director for Angola, Nigeria and South Africa.

“Seeing World Bank’s support to the energy, blue economy, health and agriculture sectors – and how that support has positively impacted and benefited tens of thousands of households – is encouraging. We look forward to continuing our support to help Belize meet its development objectives.”

During the official visit, Prime Minister Brice?o, remarked on the necessity of support to countries like Belize. “We are on the right track and have made great strides towards achieving our development objectives, but we need to do much more, particularly as one of the most vulnerable countries on earth,” he said.

“For that, we need the continued support of our development and knowledge partner, the World Bank, and we look forward to future engagements with the International Finance Corporation and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.

“Belize and the World Bank Group are companions, co-travelers on the road to achieve Belize’s great aspirations — for our country, for our people, for our climate,” the Prime Minister added, while advocating for Belize’s need for affordable finance to fight the multidimensional impacts of climate change, particularly given the country’s vulnerabilities.

The World Bank’s Executive Director for Belize, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis and St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Katharine Rechico, noted the difficulties faced by Small States. “Though classified as a middle-income country, the realities of the multidimensional challenges faced by Belize were made clear during this visit. I am pleased that the World Bank Group is rising to the challenge and helps addressing the needs of Belize and other Small States. The institution will continue to do so.”

This visit to Belize was the first ever under the World Bank’s Executive Directors Group Travel, who also visited two other countries in the region.

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Department of Agriculture to deploy 500 monkey traps throughout St. Kitts

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Department of Agriculture will deploy 500 monkey traps throughout St. Kitts to reduce the population of monkeys that are causing destruction to farm crops throughout the country.

Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Corporatives Samal Duggins in a recent interview said, “The monkeys have been a significant threat to our food security here in St. Kitts and Nevis and they are a nuisance to many of our farmers. Our programme here at the Department of Agriculture is to help to control that and improve our food security agenda.”

Acting Director at the Department of Agriculture, Junelle Kelly spoke on the issue noting that the Department of Agriculture has been dedicated to assisting the farming community with the establishment of the Feral Control Unit.

“Here at the department, we have various traps at various sizes, we started with some smaller traps and now we are taking into consideration that perhaps we would want to have some bigger traps so we can catch larger numbers so we can ensure the food security of the nation,” she said.

“We have been getting some results with our methods, however, we want to go a bit further as the whole point of the programme is to reduce the population because it has been affecting the farming community.”

The Acting Director also stated that “We want to have this discussion and consultation with our stakeholders to come up with new ways and new avenues in which to reduce the population.”

The Department of Agriculture will hold a monkey control symposium during the month of February.

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Drake Confronted By Ex Flame Who He Namedrop In A Song

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Drake’s style of name-dropping women in his songs has been far from unproblematic, as he shared in his Moody Conversation interview that some of the women