British Prime Minister announces more support to the Caribbean

By British High Commission (Bridgetown)

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British PM David Cameron.

British PM David Cameron.

PRESS RELEASE – During a visit to the Caribbean, Prime Minister David Cameron, accompanied by International Development Secretary Justine Greening, has announced a quadrupling of UK support to the region.

Speaking to the joint Houses of Parliament in Jamaica, he announced a package of over £360m (over US$600m) of bilateral aid, featuring: * £300 million for a new UK-Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund to build new ports, roads and bridges to boost trade and growth; * £30 million to make health facilities more resistant to natural disaster; and * £30 million for new programmes to support economic growth.

In a visit to Grenada today, Prime Minister Cameron and the Grenadian Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell saw the long term after-effects of natural disasters when they visited the small town of Gouyave.

They visited the sole remaining nutmeg processing plant after Hurricane Ivan hit the country and viewed a bridge which had also been severely damaged by the hurricane and subsequent tropical storms.

This bridge is already earmarked for DFID/World Bank support but it demonstrates the kind of project that could benefit from the new UK-Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund.

In his subsequent meeting with Dr Mitchell and his Cabinet, PM Cameron stressed the continuity of links between the UK and the Caribbean.

PM Cameron said: “I’m delighted to be making my first visit as Prime Minister to the Caribbean, indeed the first bilateral visit by a British Prime Minister for fourteen years. I’m coming with one clear and simple message – we would both benefit from a stronger and deeper relationship. “We want to help the Caribbean on their path of development – supporting economic growth and creating new opportunities for people living here.

“I believe that Britain can help the Caribbean countries on their path of development – lifting people out of poverty, increasing economic growth, trade and security, and creating opportunities for young generations. That’s in your interest but it’s firmly in our interest too. “I think there is some truth in those who say Britain has taken this relationship for granted for too long and I want to put that right.

“Our relationship should be based on the countries we are today and the opportunities we can generate together, rather than over-relying on the historical ties of the past. “Britain wants to be your partner for the future, your partner of choice and I hope my visit can be the start of that.”

International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, said: “Too many Caribbean countries are held back because they remain vulnerable to severe economic or climate shocks. With some of the highest energy costs in the world, it is difficult for businesses to compete in global markets, leading to decades of slow or declining growth. “Britain’s close relationship with the Caribbean and our new support will help boost growth and kick-start economic recovery across the region as well as creating important trade and investment opportunities for the UK.”

Also announced was a doubling of UK Chevening Scholarships for the Caribbean and enhanced support in the fight against serious and organised crime in the region.

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6 comments

  1. In the greater scheme of things, there is no such thing as ‘freeness’ whether it comes from UK or USA. St Lucian should be thinking what is the TRUE COST of this largess or freeness or development? Who would be the benefiters? Is it, as usual, the minorities 5%- 10% – the well placed people because of their political links, financial wealth and connections, and heritage? What is the trickle-down benefit to the majority? Is it crumbs? How big a piece? What form would it take? Would it be: local employment, youth employment; schools, school building maintenance; services that would have a direct impact on alleviating poverty and the evils of crime?

    Judging from the austerity measure faced by many poor people, who are forced to be dependent on food bank donations to live, the UK government is not altruistic.

    There is a global recession on. Making a living is tougher. It’s a hard guava season people! But don’t forget, guava seasons have the tendency to bring out the best in us to survive such as inspiration, creativity, hard work and altruism.

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  2. This big package is chicken feed. So its like the chicken farmer feeding his chickens. We would much prefer you to give us back our banana industry Mr Cameron. we would much prefer you give us back our dignity and humanity the British empire and its friends wretched from our slave ancestors. Stop telling us to move on while you continue to wrap in cotton wool some who did not through 1/5 of the tribulation those you enslaved went through. until you stop seeing us as opening our big mouth and asking for the absurd and impossible you won't be a friend to us. until you stop bribing us with things you we want yet obstructing preventing us from achieving what we need. until you stop being a killer of our noble dreams and aspirations stop bringing us bagful of your perishable hand outs. We as black Caribbean people will never be able to look back at the period 1492 to 1833 with pride. So the least you can do Mr Cameron is to acknowledge your inhumanity to African slaves.

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  3. God bless Prime Minister David Cameron,
    He did not have to do anything to help the caribbean, he owes no one anything. He appears to be a man of integrity and wisdom. The Caribbean need influential Leaders like him on their side.
    the caribbean should embrace such loyalty and friendship and show an attitude of gratitude.
    Britain should hold him in more honour and respect.

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    • You are an English person who is now reaping the benefits of our ancestors toil and blood. Answer me this question Sarah, where did the queen get a Crown Jewels from? How did Britain acquire so much wealth? Why are there Lions on many emblems in Britain, when there are no lions there? Will you answer the questions truthfully? Cameron and Britain owe the Caribbean more than you think.

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  4. Wicked ppl when we caribbean ppl reach in their port they treat us like dirt don't mind them with the pretty face

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  5. why don`t they adopt some of the islands and help elevate some of the social problems work in partnership with them.... broaden the scope its like nothing peanuts to most of these islands after so much they`ve taken ...... theres room for lots of improvements and development

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