April 17th 2019


PATIENTS CHARTER TO BE LAUNCHED IN SVG 


The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines is expected to soon launch a Patients Charter’ in an effort to protect the rights of patients here.  


While delivering the main address at the opening of the Buccument Bay Polyclinic this week Prime Minister Dr Hon Ralph Gonsalves said that cabinet has already approved this initiative as he explained that the charter will address the rights of citizens to have access to quality healthcare.  The PM also urged persons to do their best to take care of their own individual health as it is a personal obligation to do so. 


The facility was constructed at a total $4.4 million by Franco Construction Company.


POLICE RECRUITS ATTEND ONE DAY PROTOCOL TRAINING


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce conducted a one (1) day Protocol Training for Police Recruits on Friday April 12, 2019 at the Old Montrose Police Station.      The Training was facilitated by   Ms. Glenda Abraham, Foreign Service Officer attached to Protocol/Consular Division.  
 

A total of seventy-nine (79) Recruits participated in the training.  The Recruits were given an informative, interactive presentation to demonstrate the importance of Protocol procedures in diplomacy, international relations and local interactions with people.  The Ministry sees this type of training as a vital tool for the Police Recruits that can be tremendously beneficial throughout their professional careers.  The training will equip the Recruits with the right knowledge in understanding the ceremonial rules governing protocol for different functions, countries and welcoming diplomats.
 

So far, The Ministry has conducted Protocol training with officials from the Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports, the Immigration Department and several other private sectors such as the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
 

The Ministry will be extending this type of training to other line Ministries and critical Departments during the months of May to June 2019.
 

POLICE NEWS


 Police have arrested and charged Robinson Osunkwo, a 28 year old Medical Student of Cane Hall/Nigeria on 15.04.19  for assaulting a 62 year old Businessman of Arnos Vale.
 

According to the police the businessman was beaten about his body by the student with his hands, causing actual bodily harm. Osunkwo was also charged for without lawful excuse damaged one (1) black Blu Cellular phone value $1,000.00 ECC by smashing it on the ground and was reckless as to whether such property would be damaged and also for unlawfully entering upon the Business premises of the virtual complainant and remain there with  intent to annoy him, about 7:30pm. This incident occurred on 23.02.19.  Osunkwo is expected to appear before Court to answer the Charges.


CARICOM YOUTH AMBASSADORS SVG ELECTS NEW EXECUTIVE


The CARICOM Youth Ambassadors’ (CYA) SVG Committee successfully elected a new executive on Friday, April 12, 2019.  The newly elected committee received congratulatory remarks from several members of the organization including life members, while the elected executive members expressed gratitude for the confidence placed in them to continue the mandate of CYA SVG Committee. 

The new executive will be officially presented to the committee on Saturday, April 27, 2019.  


The 2019/2020 Executive Members are:

Odion Hillocks - Deputy Male CYA

Descilla Samuel  - Deputy Female CYA 

Shanice Daniel  - Secretary 

Trackeisha Davis - Public Relations Officer

Shari Bramble - Publications Officer

Kaina Lynch  - Treasurer


The new executive committee is tasked with finalizing sub-committees and other events geared at Youth Empowerment for the remainder of the year and expressed confidence in this being the most productive year that the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors’ SVG executive has ever seen. 


PAN AGAINST CRIME AND SVG GOSPEL FEST COLLABORATE TO STAGE ANNUAL EASTER GOSPEL CONCERT


The Pan Against Crime Committee continues its collaboration with the SVG Gospel Fest Committee, South Leeward Zone, as both entities again team up to stage the Annual Easter Gospel Concert, this Sunday, April 21st.  The much-anticipated event gets going at 4:30 pm, at Hope Playing Field in Vermont, and will feature performances from the Police Band, SVG Port Authority Genesis and several Police Youth Clubs, including the Vermont Police Youth Club, which will be officially launched during the Concert.


Following the launch, individuals and groups from Churches located between Campden Park and Barrouallie, comprising the South Leeward Zone of Digicel Gospel Fest 2019, will take to the stage, ministering in song, dance, poetry and drama.   The organizers of the Concert are anticipating a large turn out to the event, as this is the first such show of its kind to be staged in the Vermont Community.


REGIONAL 


ANTIGUA'S REVISED LITTER ACT TO TAKE EFFECT FROM THURSDAY 18TH APRIL


The Litter Act – that will result in stiffer penalties for people caught dumping illegally – will take effect from tomorrow, Thursday in Antigua.  Minister of Health and the Environment Molwyn Joseph made the announcement Monday on stating that over the next few weeks the ministry will engage in discussions with the business community and other key stakeholders, beginning with those in the capital, St. John’s.

We hope to engage the business establishments in Antigua and Barbuda to alert them of the new rules in putting out their waste for collection. It is going to require specifics in terms of how you package your waste,” Joseph said.


One implication is that businesses will no longer get away with discarding empty boxes on the side of the street in expectation that they will be collected as is.   “They are going to be required to break down those boxes and have them bound so that another collection process will take place because those are recyclables,“ Minister Joseph said.


The Litter Control and Prevention Bill was passed in February this year, repealing the current Litter Act. In anticipation of the enforcement of this new law, several garbage receptacles were placed in strategic locations, beginning in the city of St John’s.  The minister also addressed concerns from residents about the size of the bins, which some opined were too small. He admitted that the government was not able to afford larger bins, but stated that this is to encourage recycling in the country.


  

April 16th 2019


BUCCAMENT POLYCLINIC OPENED


Efforts are continuing here by the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to improve the delivery of Health care to Vincentians. As part of this continued effort, the Buccument Polyclinic was officially opened yesterday. The Polyclinic was constructed by Franco Construction Limited under the “Modernization of the Health Sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines Project”.


Speaking at the ceremony Minister of Health Hon Senator Luke Browne spoke of how the new health facility will transform health services for the people of the community as it will significantly improve the accessibility to healthcare services. Minister Browne spoke to some for the wide-ranging services that will be offered at the Buccument Polyclinic. He also noted that the facility will be adequately staffed. 


The minister also listed other features that the new health facility boasts. The minister further noted that quality healthcare comes at a cost and indicated that the said facility was done at a cost at about six million EC dollars which includes its construction and retrofitting.


GOVERNMENT OF SVG SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH RAINFOREST SEAFOODS 


The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines recently signed a contract with RAINFOREST SEAFOODS for the establishment of a $10 million-dollar fisheries facility. According to local reports Chief Executive Officer of Rainforest Seafoods Brian Jardim has expressed excitement about the investment the company is making in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). 

 Speaking during the signing of the contract between his company and the government at the Argyle International Airport (AIA) on Wednesday, Jardim said his company’s relationship with SVG began three years ago and it is one of the most embracing relationships thus far, although he has set-ups in other places including St Lucia and the Bahamas.
 

Jardim was quoted as saying that they are going to hit the ground running as the facility is expected to be completed in about 12 months at a cost of EC$10 million.  Jardim told reporters that the facility will be built to European Union (EU) standards “and better” and will make Rainforest Seafoods the largest single Caribbean exporter in the world. He added that they are already the largest seafood exporter in the Caribbean with 30 markets including Japan and Greece.
 

The company is hoping to buy, on a large scale, live lobster, conch, sea cucumber and other fresh seafood and according to Jardim, the AIA is one of the reasons the project is possible.
He said live seafood is where a lot of money is earned, and they are glad that the AIA was built as it allows them to get the seafood to the wider world while paying fishers the best prices.
 

Jardim said his team is looking at the local water supply and the sewage situation among other things as they embark on building their facility that is expected to pump around EC$20 million into the local fishing industry yearly.

 

CIMH CONTINUES TO WORK WITH SVG


The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) is continuing its work with St. Vincent and the Grenadines and other countries of the region to support their efforts to build resilience to the impacts of climate change. 


Chief of Applied Meteorology and Climatology at the Institute, Adrian Trotman while addressing the recent launch of the Resilient Environment and Agricultural Caribbean Habitats (REACH) Project said it is expected that the REACH Project will help to further strengthen the regional partnership and the agricultural sector stands to benefit greatly from the REACH project.


The REACH project is aimed at enhancing the capability of small Farmers and their communities to organize Agricultural Disaster Risk Management initiatives, to enhance their resilience to shocks and hazards.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment as part of its mosquito control programme, is continuing with fogging exercises across the country.


The Insect Vector Control Unit will be conducting fogging operations in the following communities, commencing at 5:00 pm daily, today Tuesday, 16th April 2019 – Layou and tomorrow Wednesday, 17th April 2019 – Mount Wynne. Motorists are kindly asked to take caution and persons who are suffering from any respiratory illnesses are kindly asked to take the necessary precautionary measures.


REGIONAL 


GOVERNMENT OF JAMAICA WELCOMES THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINDRUSH COMPENSATION SCHEME BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT


The Government of Jamaica has welcomed the announcement of the establishment of the Windrush Compensation Scheme by the British Government, and is encouraging individuals who have been affected to submit their claims.  The scheme applies to members of the ‘Windrush Generation’ – immigrants who arrived in the United Kingdom (UK) between 1948 and 1973 from Jamaica and other Caribbean countries to address labour shortages and helped to rebuild Britain after World War II.


Through this initiative, payments will be made to eligible individuals who did not have the right documentation to prove their status in the UK and suffered adverse effects on their lives as a result. It will provide for the granting of citizenship to those affected; the waiving of fees and charges for the Windrush Generation and their families in relation to their return to the UK.


Leader of Government Business in the Senate, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said the Government actively participated in the consultations undertaken by the Windrush Task Force established by the British Government last year, and had shared its views on how the scheme could be established and the areas for compensation.   Mrs. Johnson Smith, who was making a statement in the Senate on Friday (April 12), said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade will examine the provisions and operationalisation of the scheme in greater detail, in consultation with the Attorney General’s Chambers.


Mrs. Johnson Smith said the Government also welcomes the fact that in addition to the relevant monetary payout to eligible claimants, “the victims of this terrible tragedy will finally receive an accompanying apology from the Government of the UK”.


The compensation scheme, which was announced in London by Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, earlier this month, will be open for two years. Persons who have been affected by the crisis can submit claims to receive compensation in various categories from the British Government if the claims are successful.

These areas include loss of access to services (education, healthcare); denial of access to employment and/or benefits; refund of fees for certain immigration applications; compensation for detention, deportation or removal; and impact on normal daily lives.


The compensation scheme is open to anyone from any nationality who has the right to live or work in the UK without any restrictions or is now a British citizen and arrived in the UK before December 31, 1988. It is also open to anyone from a Commonwealth country who arrived and settled in the UK before 1973.


  

April 15th 2019


RAINFOREST SEAFOODS TO INVEST EC$10M IN FACILITY AT CALLIAQUA

THE recent CONTRACT signed between Rainforest Seafoods and the Government will see the company investing EC$10 million in a facility at Calliaqua.
 

Minister of Finance Hon Camillo Gonsalves while speaking at the ceremony noted that the most important clause in the contract is the one that says Rainforest Seafoods is going to endeavor to purchase from local fisherfolk EC$20 million worth of lobster and fish annually. He added that he is excited about the investment and said that we are on the verge of opening a modern sophisticated fisheries center at Calliaqua (next to the Coast Guard base) that will employ quite a few Vincentians, not only fisherfolk.
 

Gonsalves said Rainforest Seafoods has plants in Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, the Bahamas and St. Lucia and they are intent on sustainable fishing and livelihoods.  He noted that Rainforest Seafoods exports live lobster from Jamaica to China and they are hoping to do the same thing here, something that could not have been done without the AIA. Gonsalves said the facility will be built as quickly as possible. A team from the company is currently meeting with local contractors. 


BUCCAMENT POLYCLINIC TO BE OFFICIALLY OPENED TODAY


The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines through the Ministry of Health, Wellness will officially open the Buccument Polyclinic.  This opening ceremony will commence at 2:30pm.

The programme for the event includes speeches by the Honourable Prime Minister, the Honourable Minister of Health, the Health Planner and a representative from the European Union. Star Radio will bring live coverage of this event.


NEMO/MINISTRY OF EDUCATION TO HOST FORUM ON SCHOOLS SAFETY PROGRAMME


This country’s Minister of Education, St. Clair Prince, has said the Schools Safety Programme forms part of efforts to reduce this country’s vulnerability to natural disasters at the national level. This was at the launch of the Second Caribbean Ministerial School Safety Forum to be held here on April 29th and 30th.

The forum will be hosted by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) . Minister Prince said the overall aim is to develop a proper disaster response mechanism in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.


POLICE NEWS


 A man was said to be fatally shot in the Grenadine island of Canouan on the weekend.  Police on the island of Canouan said that they responded to a report of a mentally ill man attacking residents on the island.  Reports say that the man attacked the police with a cutlass and a knife. He was shot and taken to the Canouan Health Centre where he was subsequently pronounced dead.


The Police wishes to advise the public that while using deadly force is always a last resort, the law gives the police the authority to use the necessary force to protect life and property.

The Commissioner of Police expresses condolences to the relatives and friends of the deceased. A post mortem will be conducted on the deceased to ascertain the cause of death.


REGIONAL 


SENIOR IMF OFFICIAL SAYS BARBADOS ON THE TRACK TO RECEIVING A PASSING GRADE FOR ITS BERT PROGRAMME


A senior official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Barbados is on track to receiving a passing grade for the second review of its Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme. 

The IMF Deputy Division Chief for the Caribbean Bert Van Selm, said he is pleased with measures recently put in place to help the government meet its ambitious target of six per cent gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of the current fiscal year.


Barbados has entered into a US$290-million Extended Fund Facility programme with the Washington-based financial institution and, following the first review which was completed in December last year, the island received an estimated US$49 million to shore up the once-dangerously low international reserves.

The next review is scheduled for the middle of May, when IMF officials will consider the period up to March 31 and assess government's outlook.


The IMF official said that while it is imperative for the Mia Mottley administration to maintain the strong economic policies in order to reduce national debt and spending, he is also suggesting there would be no escaping the onerous measures for the life of the programme. He said meeting the targets was also critical if the confidence of international partners and local and international investors was to be regained.


Van Selm said for over a decade there had been significant external and fiscal imbalances, which have led to unsustainably high debt and low international reserves. There have been concerns that government could be in danger of not meeting some of its targets, which it also hopes to maintain, due to the outstanding external debt restructuring and forthcoming debt payments. But Van Selm told Barbados TODAY the IMF remained confident the Mottley government would meet its targets, “because otherwise we would not have given our support to this programme”.