Britain is providing assistance to five Eastern Caribbean countries “to help them return to economic growth while managing the risks from external shocks”. The Department for International Development (DFID) Caribbean says it will work closely with Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica under the new program that runs until 2020.
“The United Kingdom is committed to the long-term development of the Caribbean,” said DFID head, Caribbean, Hugh Walker, who signed a joint letter of intent with St Vincent and the Grenadines on behalf of Desmond Swayne, Britain’s Minister for International Development.
Walker said the DFID has “listened carefully” to what Eastern Caribbean countries have been saying are the key challenges for the region.
“Our projects will focus on supporting economic growth and job creation, increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy usage, and reducing the risks posed by climate change and natural disasters,” Walker said.
Britain has already committed to spend up to £75 million in the Caribbean from 2011 to 2015 and DFID will now invest a similar amount in the Caribbean from 2016 to 2020 to achieve shared development objectives.
DFID will work closely with Eastern Caribbean countries to build programs better tailored to their individual needs. The DFID said that it is anticipated that the new program will build on the successes of DFID’s current regional support.
“The strong personal, cultural and institutional links between the UK and the Caribbean will help deliver results for the people of the Caribbean”.
“DFID will continue to work regionally to support Caribbean integration and tackle regional issues which are essential to the Caribbean’s long-term development”.
“It will continue to play an important role through other institutions such as the EU and Caribbean Development Bank (to which the UK is a significant contributor),”the DFID said.