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18 Oct 2017

ST. GEORGE, GRENADA, OCT. 18, 2017 –Grenada’s Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Hon. Clarice Modeste-Curwen, has made an appeal to the international community to not use an ‘across-the-board formula’ for ranking the GDP per capita of countries.

In an address at the official opening of the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC), at the Radisson Beach Resort, on Oct. 10, 2017, Hon. Modeste-Curwen said there is a need to recognize the unique challenges that Small Island Developing States face, as a result of the frequency and intensity of hurricanes.

“While our contribution to global warming is indeed miniscule, the impact on us is severe.

The GDP per capita formula utilized to rank countries should not be applied across the board. As we all know, one unfortunate weather event can wipe out a considerable percentage of the GDP of any member state.

The international community, therefore, must recognize or unique situation in this regard and fashion developmental support, accordingly,” the Minister said.

For years, CARICOM leaders have been imploring the international community to revise the criteria for concessionary financing, to include a country’s vulnerability level.

Hugh Riley, Secretary General and CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) said they must use the SOTIC conference to learn from the events of the recent past, to build a better, stronger future.

Riley stated that when the next chapter in Caribbean tourism is written, 2017 will have special mention - more so the month of September - when Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Anguilla, Barbuda, the Bahamas, the BVI, Dominica, the Republic of Cuba and others.

“The one where we accept that any one of us can be knocked down hard at any time, but we must learn how to fight through the pain and rise again. Just ask Grenada. Just ask Dr. Keith Mitchell, who was the Prime Minister at the time when Hurricane Ivan ravaged this island in 2004.

Just ask Dr. Clarice Modeste, at the time the Minister of Works, what this island looked like when 90 percent of the buildings were damaged.

This could be the SOTIC where we form such a strong, one Caribbean alliance and create such a meaningful resource that we never again find ourselves scrambling for funding, just to be able to teach the world the geography of the Caribbean,”Riley said.

18 Oct 2017

ST. GEORGE, GRENADA, OCT. 18, 2017 - Prime Minister, Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell says he does not expect a further escalation of the recent industrial action called by the Technical and Allied Workers Union (TAWU) and the Public Workers Union (PWU)

Both the PWU and the TAWU instructed their members to remain at home on Monday, October 16 and Tuesday 17, in a move the Government Negotiating Team said is disappointing, because of the unions’ rejection of the Minister of Labour’s mediation efforts, regarding one-off payment to Public Service Employees.

During the Government’s weekly Post-Cabinet Briefing, Prime Minister Mitchell pointed out that in addition to honouring a commitment of the previous government and meeting salaries on time, his Government has paid an additional $106 million to public service workers and there is another $4 million being committed.

However, with the public workers asking for an additional nine million, the Prime Minister said they must be concerned about all workers, and not just one group.

“I do not see how the Government can continue to meet the responsibility to one set of workers in the country, while others are not able to have anything. So, you mentioned the fact that the country is going to suffer. My own reading of things is that people are beginning to understand what is taking place. I was at the Ministry of Finance a while ago. Our revenue base is intact. People are working.

The leadership is there doing their work. The few areas that had misunderstanding appear to be clarified, at this point in time, and I don’t see the impact that some people may have wanted to see for whatever reasons. I don’t see it occurring. So, I am very hopeful that common sense will prevail and that we will see an end to this impasse that appears to be occurring, at this particular time.”

Prime Minister Mitchell said his government cannot, in good conscience, ignore the needs of others in the country who also require assistance.

“The Government went way beyond its means. We have, my dear friend, we have the young people still out there without jobs. What do I do, forget them, as Prime Minister?” He asked. Continuing, the Prime Minister said, “A few weeks ago, Prime Minister Skerrit went to Barbuda and gave relief to Barbudans, water and everything.

Today, he needs more than that in Dominica. There are people whose homes are still wetting when rains falls in this country. Should I forget them?

Don’t give them anything; don’t give them a piece of board, but just give more and more and more? I can’t. I can’t. My conscience would not allow me to do it and I think anyone who has a conscience will not proceed to want that to happen.”

10 Oct 2017
ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, Monday 9th October, 2017: Approximately EC$ 1.06 million dollars in grant resources have been made available by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and  Grenada will partner with GIZ, (The German Agency for International Cooperation), to access its first tranche of readiness support.
 
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the newest and largest global fund created through the Paris Agreement to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenges of climate change. It was set up by the 194 countries who are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
 
With this, our country joins Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as the third small island state in the Caribbean to receive grant support from the Green Climate Fund.
 
This milestone will support Grenada’s capacity to access additional climate finance from this newly established climate fund.
 
The Readiness programme is only one area of support under the GCF mechanism, which helps countries to establish the needed institutional structures, national processes and project pipelines to ensure the development of climate proofed project proposals which are based on the national priorities and an open stakeholder engagement process.
 
GIZ will support this implementation as delivery partner, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development and Planning as well as the Division of the Environment.
 
Key objectives of this readiness support will be to enhance the capacity of Grenada’s National Designated Authority (NDA) to effectively coordinate with line ministries, statutory bodies and development partners on accessing the Fund and to prepare a country programme.
 
To ensure transparency in the GCF processes, as well as support effective stakeholder engagement processes, including private sector, civil society and NGOs. In parallel, the Ministry of Economic Development and Planning, jointly with NAWASA and GIZ, are preparing a project to ensure climate resilience of the water sector in Grenada, to be submitted to the GCF in the coming weeks, at a value of more than EC$100 million dollars.
20 Sep 2017

ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, 20th  September, 2017– GIS:“It is clear that we have a tremendous challenge on our hands, in the Caribbean region as a whole.”

Those were the words of Grenada’s Prime Minister and Chairman of CARICOM Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, in response to the effects of Hurricane Maria in Dominica, on Monday night, September 18th.

The Prime Minister, who appeared visibly shaken by the news coming out of Dominica, after that country was ravaged by Hurricane Maria, said that he had spoken to his colleague Prime Minister in Dominica on Monday night, during the passage of the hurricane.

Since then, there has been no communication from the Dominican leader to his colleagues.

Dr. Mitchell expressed his best wishes for the safety of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and the people of Dominica and he offered Grenada’s solidarity and support and extended best wishes to all other Islands in the path of Hurricane Maria—the United States Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe and other Islands which are under Hurricane Watch or Warning.

The Grenadian leader made a public plea to all Grenadians, stating that “we, in Grenada must recognize that we have a tremendous responsibility to help out our brothers and sisters in Dominica and all other affected countries.

This is about us, the region.”

The Prime Minister was speaking before the Media on Wednesday at noon, on returning to Grenada after his last weekend’s visit to Turks and Caicos and several Islands in the Bahamas that were affected by Hurricane Irma only a week before.

Earlier last week also, on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 12 and 13th, the Prime Minister and a team from the CARICOM Secretariat also visited with, and expressed solidarity and support to the Governments and people of the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and Antigua and Barbuda—Islands which were all damaged by Hurricane Irma.

15 Sep 2017
ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA,15th September, 2017: The Government of Grenada received XCD $4.36 million dollars from the European Union as the First Fixed Tranche under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Programme. 
 
This is the first of two disbursements of a grant in support of development in the Health Sector.   Specifically, the funds will support Government’s Primary Health Care Reform Programme.
 
One of the major initiatives will be the construction of the Gouyave Medical Center.
 
Other areas of focus under the Programme are:
  • Implementation of a Chronic Non-Communicable Disease Survey and Health Promotion Campaign;
  • Development of the National Health Insurance Legislative Framework; and
  • Institutionalization of a Monitoring and Evaluation System for the Health Sector
In addition, the Government is expected to receive 1.2 million euros for Technical Assistance and to support the National Authorizing Office (NAO) and the Non-State Actors Panel.
 
Over the years, Grenada has received support from Stabex-Fund, SFA, the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9thand 10th EDF and Vulnerability Flex Programmes, totaling over 80 million euros and making the European Union one of Grenada’s major grant contributors to national development.
 
On behalf of the people, the Government of Grenada expresses sincere appreciation to the European Union for its continued contribution to the development of Grenada.
13 Sep 2017

ST. GEORGE'S, GRENADA, SEPTEMBER 14 2017 - GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICE (GIS): - On completion of an extensive surveillance, monitoring and evaluation of the current outbreak of conjunctivitis on island, the Ministry of Health earlier today advised education officials, that in an effort to contain and prevent the spread of viral conjunctivitis (RED EYE) all persons affected should remain at home. 

Health officials say given the seriousness of the outbreak among children, parents and guardians should be vigilant and ensure that every precautionary measure is taken to prevent their child from becoming infected and or spreading the virus. 

The MOH is also advising the general public to adopt similar measures to prevent the spread of the virus, while the Epidemiology Unit continues to evaluate the situation. 

According to Health officials, within the past 48-72 hours there were significant increases in the number of reported cases of the syndrome and as a result health practitioners have been responding quickly and adequately to the situation.

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. George Mitchell reconfirmed earlier reports that the current outbreak is viral and can be transmitted by person to person.

Dr. Mitchell reiterated that the most practical and effective way to stop the spread of the virus, is by practicing proper and regular hand washing.

The CMO further added, that persons should also refrain from touching or rubbing their eyes following contact with potential contaminated sources.

Outbreaks of viral conjunctivitis occur mainly in tropical countries with high population density, hot and humid climate. 

For additional information about conjunctivitis (clinical description how it is spread), and how best to prevent and or manage conjunctivitis please visit the links provided: 
www.cdc.gov or www.health.gov.gd.

12 Sep 2017

ST. GEORGE, GRENADA, SEPT 12. 2017, GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICE (GIS): - Grenada’s Agriculture Sector could experience point 4% growth at the end of this year after suffering a 14% decline last year, mainly due to drought.

Despite the decline in the sector, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Dr. Wayne Sandiford said there was an increase in Nutmeg Production in the first half of 2017, when compared with the same period last year.

He was addressing farmers and fisher folks at another in the series of Budget Consultations held in preparation for presentation of the 2018 package.

“The increase in nutmeg production was about fifty two percent; that’s a large growth in production.  Remember it is the first six months of 2017, relative to the first six months of 2016,” the Permanent Secretary said.

“Of course that was the second highest quarter since highest two quarters January to June since hurricane Ivan and we are projecting some growth further in nutmeg production”.

Looking at the economy in general, Dr. Sandiford said there was growth of about 3.7% in 2016, and they estimate that at the end of 2017, the figure could be 4.2%, but will dip to about 3.1% next year.

12 Sep 2017
ST. GEORGES, GRENADA, SEPT. 12, 2017–The Grenada Poultry Association is commending the Government of Grenada for its work towards the establishment of a Poultry Policy, which was passed this year.

During a recent budget consultation with farmers and fishermen in St. Andrew on, Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Poultry Association, Joshua Lewis, expressed appreciation for the significant support received by many on the journey, but noted that the support provided by government was unsurpassed.

“Nobody has stood with us better than this current government. Like I said, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. They’ve passed the policy. They’ve passed the conclusion,” said Lewis.

“ The rest is up to us. The most powerful people are the consumers. You are the ones who are buying. I’m asking you to buy local chicken and I’m saying to you, as we move forward, the prices will go down”.
Lewis highlighted that the Poultry Policy will allow farmers to unlock the potential of the industry, but noted that it must benefit the more than 200 small farmers, as equally as it benefits the larger poultry farmers.

“The policy just can’t benefit the few. It has to benefit the many. Now in order to do that, I’m asking that the poultry policy be considered in terms of the budget, because in order to ensure those 250 odd small farmers benefit from that policy,” Lewis explained.
 
“We will need some seed funding, in terms of having the proper staff to ensure that the implementation that needs to be done, to benefit the country – as a whole – those things are done by employing the right people.” 
07 Sep 2017
The Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Dr. the Rt. Honourable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, has expressed his sorrow at the deaths caused by Hurricane Irma.
 
“This massive storm has already claimed lives in many of the countries and has inflicted severe damage to infrastructure in the affected islands,” the Prime Minister said.
 
“I extend condolences to the family of the deceased and to the Governments and Peoples of the countries.
 
It is almost impossible to assess the human cost of disasters such as these,” he added.
 
Prime Minister Mitchell has been kept abreast of the situation through discussions with CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and the Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, (CDEMA) Mr. Ronald Jackson.
 
The Chairman has spoken to the leaders of most of the States already affected by the Hurricane, the Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Dr. the Rt. Honourable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis and the Chief Minister of Anguilla, the Honourable Victor Banks.
 
The Chairman has also been in contact with the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Honourable Allen Chastenet, the Lead Head of Government for Sustainable Development including Disaster Management in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet.
 
 “We hope and pray that the countries in the predicted path of the hurricane, Turks and Caicos Islands, The Bahamas and Haiti are spared its worst effects,” Prime Minister Mitchell said.
 
“The Community stands ready to render whatever assistance it can to assist in the recovery efforts which are being co-ordinated by CDEMA,” the CARICOM Chairman said.
30 Aug 2017

ST. GEORGE, GRENADA, AUG. 30, 2017, GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICE (GIS): -The Government of Grenada, in partnership with The People’s Republic of China; the Republics of Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago and the St. George's University, have presented Grenadian students with 77 undergraduate and graduate scholarship awards, valued at 20.4 million dollars.

“I just want to say to people out there, who have hope within themselves to achieve something, don’t ever give up. Work hard and you will achieve,” Genis Thorne, a soon-to-be PhD student, from Paradise, St. Andrew, commented following the ceremony. She is scheduled to begin studies at Sun Yat –Sen, China, for a period of 3 years.

The scholarship presentations were made during a ceremony on August 10, at the Grenada Boys Secondary School, in St. George, hosted by the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development & The Environment.

Speaking to the recipients, Colin Dowe, Assistant Dean of Enrolment & Planning, SGU, advised students to “Think beyond the traditional and embrace this opportunity to be an agent of transformational change, for your families and our country.”

Scholarships were awarded in several areas, with 30 undergraduate scholarships being awarded for SGU; 16 undergraduate, 9 masters and one doctoral studies award for study in the People’s Republic of China; 11 to the Republic of Cuba (10 undergraduate and one post graduate award) and 10 to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (9 undergraduate and one masters scholarship).

His Excellency, Dr. Zhao Yongchen, Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, said, “I would like to say congratulations to all the awardees of the Chinese scholarships and I do believe you will have a wonderful experience while studying in China.”

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and the Environment congratulated the awardees and thanked the National Training Awards Selection Committee for their commitment to the scholarship selection process and the scholarship providers for their generous contributions.

“You have not only provided scholarships, you also continue to assist our government to provide higher education and opportunities to so many young Grenadians, who otherwise would not have a chance at entering the doors of a university,” Joseph said.

Her Excellency, Maria Caridad Balaguer, Ambassador, the Republic of Cuba, pledged continued support to Grenada.

“We will continue to honor our pledge to cooperate and share our modest achievements with our sister nations in the Caribbean,” Her Exellency said.

Ambassador Balaguer noted that since the 1980s more than 300 students have graduated from universities in Cuba in several study areas, many of whom have returned to work in Grenada. Currently 47 are studying in Cuba. She assured the students that they will be well received.

Senator of State in the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and the Environment, Simon Stiell, outlined the many scholarships already awarded for 2017, prior to the most recent awards.

“To date, there have been a total of 144 scholarships, at an approximate value of $14 million dollars – that’s for 2017 – and these include economic bursaries, which constitute 80 percent tuition payable to University of the West Indies, and these awards are estimated at a value of a million dollars.

These scholarships, along with the islands scholarships, valued at approximately 1.2 million dollars are solely funded by the Government of Grenada,” Stiell said.

Stiell affirmed Government of Grenada’s continued commitment to human resource development, through education.

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