The US Ambassador to the OECS and Barbados, Her Excellency Linda Taglialatela paid a courtesy visit to the Director General of the OECS Dr. Didacus Jules last week to discuss several cooperation matters and ways to strengthen the common bond between the USA and the OECS.
The United States of America and OECS have enjoyed a strong collaboration in part facilitated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which is one of the major partners of the Organisation.
Among the key areas of cooperation include education, juvenile justice and regional statistics.
The Early Learners Programme is one of the major OECS/USAID initiatives. It aims at improving the level of literacy of young learners (Grade K to Grade 3) in six member states: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The programme is being implemented by the Education Development Management Unit of the Commission.
Besides education, a major initiative is being implemented in the area of Juvenile Justice Reform with the support of USAID. This Program Juvenile Justice Reform Project 2 (JJRP2) aims at encouraging social reintegration of young people involved in conflict with the law through alternative sentencing programme.
The OECS, USAID and UNICEF have also collaborated on the development of a regional database programme ”OECSInfo 2.0” launched in June 2017. This centralised database facilitates public access to social and economic statistics of Member States and serves as an important tool for students and the media in this regard.
OECS Info 2.0 also has a strategic dimension in that it provides accurate statistics to enhance decision making at the policy level in respect of national and regional development initiatives.