The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance (CCRIF) will pay US$15.6 million to the governments of Antigua and Barbuda; Anguilla; and St. Kitts and Nevis for damage caused by hurricane Irma under tropical cyclone policies the islands hold with the facility.
Antigua and Barbuda will get the biggest slice of US$6,794,875; Anguilla, US$6,529,100 and St. Kitts and Nevis the lowest amount, US$2,294,603.
Barbuda was devastated by the hurricane with authorities saying that 95 percent of the structures were destroyed and the island has been deemed inhabitable.
A statement from CCRIF said it is verifying the calculations for the payments and is discussing with the three governments that arrangements for making the payments will be settled within 14 days.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has called on the Diaspora to consider new investment opportunities in The Bahamas, in areas ranging from tourism to aquaculture, to the maritime sector.
He said the Bahamian Diaspora is a major talent and investment pool that the Bahamas must tap into and his administration intends to help create a global network of Bahamians to help boost national development and to create a 21st century Bahamas.
Dr. Minnis is calling on Bahamians overseas and friends of The Bahamas to consider new investment opportunities in The Bahamas. The prime minister said his administration is also giving consideration to the establishment of an overseas council of the Bahamian Diaspora that will utilize social media and a dedicated website to help produce a database and platform for communication with Bahamians overseas.
He said such a council could also promote investment and job opportunities for Bahamians wishing to return to and / or work in The Bahamas.
The Dominica government has agreed to pay public servants two months’ salary as a one-off payment for arrears following the successful conclusion of an agreement with the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU).
DPSU Thomas Letang said the collective agreement has already been signed and “what we have before us is a salary freeze for the period 2015-2016.”
He said public officers will not be getting a salary increase fir 2015 – to 2016.
A one-off payment is equivalent to one month salary commuted on the last salary received by the officer who retired in 2015-2016 and that is for retired officers who retired in 2015 and 2016.
Letang said public officers will also receive a three percent salary increase for the fiscal year 2017-2018.
Additionally, an agreement was reached on several other areas, he said including an EC$20,000 grant towards training public officers, an EC$80,000 grant towards the union’s revolving fund and a grant of EC$236,000 towards the union’s medical and health insurance.
Guyana has intensified measles surveillance near the border with Venezuela. Nationals of the neighboring South American country are seeking medical treatment for malaria following reports that more than 360 Venezuelans who had crossed the border in recent weeks were seeking medical help for malaria.
State Minister Joseph Harmon said the government was first made aware of the situation from health personnel in the Region One and a decision was made to continue offering assistance to its neighbors.
According to Harmon, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has advised of increased cases of measles in Venezuela.
As a result, he said Guyana had decided to step up measles surveillance and “adopt a high level of vaccination.”
The minister said Venezuelans are asked to adhere to the protocol at the point of entry where they are required to provide identification along with the reason for the visit.
Harmon said the Venezuelans should only stay in Guyana for the time offered.
Venezuelans are currently given special permission to enter Guyana for a limited period to seek medical attention.
Venezuela is in the midst of a political and economic crisis that has caused many of to them to flee the country.
The Jamaica government has signed a US$20 million (J$2.56 billion) agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank, which will provide funds to Micro Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) through the Development Bank of the Jamaica (DBJ).
According to a news release from the Finance Ministry, Finance Minister Audley Shaw has reiterated the government’s commitment to providing access to financing to MSMEs to be able to build their capacity.
The minister said micro entrepreneurs are a significant sector that commercial banks have often overlooked, and that is why the Credit Enhancement Fund (CEF) is critical, as it provides an opportunity for MSMEs to be able to build their capacity, expand their business ventures and in so doing, create more jobs.
“If we are ever to achieve the ‘five’ in ‘four’ plan, or be able to sustain economic growth, we must provide a business environment in which the MSME sector can grow,” Shaw said in the release.
The CEF will provide a partial guarantee per individual MSME loan in the amount not exceeding US$385,000; it is also expected to provide coverage of up to 90 percent of the individual loan for up to l0 years, the release added.
Jamaica continues to benefit from the over 45-year long relationship with the Inter American Bank (IDB), the ministry said.
A 64-year-old grandmother, Melan Salvary-Doyle of San Fernando, South Trinidad was among the 37 people killed as a direct result of Hurricane Irma which recently slammed into several Caribbean countries as a monster Category 5 storm.
Iram is being blamed for at least 17 deaths in the United States after it lashed the Florida Keys.
According to reports, the tragedy occurred at the home of her sister at 32 A, Rue Round The Pond French Quarters in St. Martin, where she has been taking care of her three-year-old grandson who were both swept away in raging flood waters.
Salvary-Dole, a mother of six left her Trinidad home to go on a vacation at her daughter’s home about three weeks before Hurricane Irma struck St. Martin.
Meanwhile, 19 Trinidadians had to be evacuated from Dutch St. Maarten and flown to Antigua after the devastation of the island.
— Compiled by Azad Ali