Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation Beverley J. Oda, announced on Feb. 10 her country’s support for local economic development in the Caribbean to the tune of CAN$20 million.
Through a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funded project, Oda said the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) will assist local Caribbean municipalities build and strengthen their local economies.
She said the Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) project will help to “improve local communities, establish business environments to support small and medium-sized enterprises.
“Canada’s local municipalities not only work to provide Canadians with safe, vibrant and prosperous communities, for 25 years they also shared their expertise with other in developing countries around the world,” Oda said.
“Canadians can take pride in the membership of the FCM and in the work they will undertake to help local Caribbean communities strengthen their local economic development and increase business opportunities in 6 different countries,” she added.
The Canadian Minister of International Corporation said CARILED will support up to 50 local governments and agencies, which, in turn, “will reach up to 500 small enterprises in six countries.
“By working directly with local governments, local authorities, and a wide range of stakeholders, this project will use local resources and create new jobs, stimulating local economic growth,” she said.
The announcement took place at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ annual Sustainable Communities Conference, in Ottawa, Canada, with the participation of the FCM President, Berry Vrbanovic, and the High Commissioner of the Bahamas and Dean of the CARICOM Diplomats, Michael D. Smith.
“Since 1987, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has successfully delivered high-quality international programming through the involvement of Canadian municipal experts in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and the Middle East,” Vrbanovic said.
“This has been possible with the support of the Canadian International Development Agency and the contribution of municipalities from across Canada that shared and continue to share their expertise in municipal services, public participation, local governance, gender issues, disaster relief, and sustainable local economic development,” he added.