IMF wants to know what PetroCaribe money was used for in St Vincent

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is monitoring the potential impact of Venezuela’s current economic stress on PetroCaribe, the country’s oil alliance with several Caribbean islands, and it also wants to know what PetroCaribe money was used for in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Merco Press reported.
According to SVG Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Caracas has invited PetroCaribe member countries to a meeting about “reaffirming” their commitment to the initiative, the brainchild of the former Venezuelan president, the late Hugo Chavez.
IMF Western Hemisphere advisor, Elie Canetti, told reporters that the IMF’s main concern “is that we know Venezuela is going through increasing financial stress, and oil prices have dropped from around US$120 a barrel to mid 70s a barrel and Venezuela is hugely dependent on selling oils.”

Dominican flight attendant convicted for money laundering in St Vincent

30 year old Sherita Kernelle- Newton was convicted of of laundering money in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She was fined $3,700 or an alternative of imprisonment for 9 months. St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Eyewitness News reports that 30-year old Sherita Kernelle Newton, an employee of  regional carrier LIAT, was charged with taking criminal property into St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Kernelle- Newton pleaded guilty to both charges when she appeared before Chief  Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias at the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown.

On Wednesday, November 21, law enforcement agents conducted a search of Newton’s apartment at Beachcomers Hotel, and questioned her in relation to monies she had in her possession, suspected to have been derived from criminal conduct. Newton told police that she had more than the Eastern Caribbean dollar equivalent of more than US$4,400  but when police counted the monies, it amounted to the equivalent of US$10,000. She also had 25 euros in her possession.

Britain announces aid programme for five Eastern Caribbean countries until 2020

Hugh Walker (head of DFID Caribbean) has 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 United Kingdom is committed to the long-term development of the Caribbean. The Department for International Development (DFID) is starting a new set of development programmes which will run until 2020. DFID has listened carefully to what Eastern Caribbean countries have said are the key challenges for the region. Their 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.”

US called on to increase diplomatic presence in the Caribbean

New York congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY16) recently introduced the United States-Caribbean Partnership Act of 2014 in the House of Representatives. This bill would establish US embassies in the five countries in the Caribbean with which the US has diplomatic relations but no permanent diplomatic presence: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. In an op-ed piece in the Miami Herald, Engel explained that the countries of the Caribbean are of profound importance to the United States and particularly to the millions of Caribbean-American citizens in the US.

CARICOM governments to increase quality information on CSM to nationals

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nationals in six member states are to benefit from a greater flow of tailored information on the CARICOM Single Market (CSM). This is under a new project that aims to connect nationals with the information they need to work, travel and do business in participating CARICOM countries. Over the next five months, the groundwork for greater information flows and channels on the CSM is being established through technical assistance to governments and training key stakeholders. In partnership with focal point ministries for the Single Market in Belize, Jamaica, Guyana, Dominica, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines, the project will build governments’ and stakeholders’ capacity to develop and sustain well packaged information on the single market to their nationals. This is expected to take place during and beyond the life of the project.

St Vincent carnival preparations will not be affected by Ebola

Ebola is not likely to affect plans for the 2015 carnival celebrations. Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves responded to a question at a news conference this past Monday. Gonsalves was among heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) that attended a special summit held in Trinidad last week to discuss the threats from Ebola and chikungunya. Chikungunya is a viral disease that is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. The Prime Minister also said that the government has taken the right steps to prevent a potential Ebola threat. Chairman of the national surveillance committee in the ministry of health, wellness and the environment, Dr Rosmond Adams, has appealed to Vincentians to take all the necessary precautions to protect themselves from the chikungunya viral disease.

Saint Vincent to pilot OECS enterprise survey

The OECS Pilot Enterprise Survey will be conducted in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in November. The pilot project is jointly funded by the OECS Secretariat under the 10th EDF for Economic Integration and Trade of the OECS Region Project and the ILO Decent Work Team and Caribbean Office.The project is administered jointly by the Department of Labour and the Central Statistical Office, is a survey of business enterprises and is referred to specifically as the Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey (JOLTS). It is expected to cover all nonagricultural industries in the public and private sectors throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines and includes retailers, manufacturers, hotels, and other service providers among other establishments.

Caribbean is likely to get hotter as climate changes

A Jamaican researcher has warned that the Caribbean will have to take steps to respond to climate change, as predictions are that the region will become increasingly hotter and drier if global temperature rise continues or increases.

Dale Rankine, a PhD candidate at the University of the West (UWI) Indies and member of the UWI Climate Studies Group, told regional journalists on Wednesday that rainfall across the region could decrease by 40 per cent between May and November by 2050.

The Youth In Rose Place Will Demonstrate Their Talent At A Youth Expression Showcase

The Youth Affairs Division in the Ministry of National Mobilization is hosting an event to observe ten years in the Rose Place location. The Division plans to have all youth organizations in the immediate vicinity take an active role in presenting their talent to the community through the performing arts such as dancing, singing, drama, and music. The theme is Unmasking Youth Brilliance Through Creative Expressions.” Community organizations such as Arabesque Dance Company, Urban League Inc., Police Drama club, as well as Cultural Ambassadors Shernel “Skarpyon” Williams and Orande “Bomani” Charles will be in attendace

Vincentian Entrepreneurs To Attend Business Building Conference

Two entrepreneurs from Saint Vincent will be attending the 7th Annual Sustainable Livelihoods Conference in Antigua. The event will include field tours, capacity building sessions and opportunity for accessing markets and market intelligence, through business to business and business to customers sessions. Participants are expected to come from Anguilla, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago, Anguilla, Panama, Montserrat, Haiti, Grenada, Dominica and host Antigua and Barbuda.