BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday July 11, 2019 – As this
year’s hurricane season gets underway, psychosocial support will be utilized to
help Caribbean people when disaster hits.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Caribbean
Development Bank (CDB) have launched the “Stronger Together” campaign that
draws attention to the information and tools available to assist communities in
better coping with the psychological impact of adverse events.
“In the Caribbean, most disaster response communication material focuses on ensuring that people recognize storm warnings, know where to go for assistance and have prepared their homes. However, few communication campaigns or products help people build resilience to cope with the impacts of disasters. This campaign aims to fill that gap,” said Jessie Schutt-Aine, PAHO Subregional Programme Coordinator, Caribbean.
“Stronger Together” will also tackle the stigma associated with seeking
mental health and psychosocial support. It will put a special focus on
vulnerable people, such as children and adolescents, women, older persons, or
persons with disabilities. In addition, the gender-sensitive campaign addresses
issues related to the different roles that men and women have in the family and
the community, a possible rise in gender-based violence following disasters,
and gender differences when accessing health services.
“The campaign spreads the message that together we can build resilience to natural disasters. We have to be prepared now to cope tomorrow. Strengthening social and individual resilience is essential in any response to disasters. Building back better after a disaster, means building back with resilience,” said Monica La Bennett, Vice-President (Operations), CDB.
It is part of a PAHO and CBD initiative to train 16 psychologists,
psychiatrists and social workers in mental health and psychosocial support in
the aftermath of the devastating 2017 hurricane season. This has created a
roster of health professionals from which PAHO can mobilise resources to
affected countries in an emergency.
The awareness campaign will run until October 2019 and includes an illustrated booklet on psychological first aid; public service announcements for video and radio; video testimonials, and a radio jingle to be broadcast across the Caribbean.
Cannabis Industry Opens in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Tuesday
July 16, 2019 – The first set of licences to start
production of medicinal cannabis in St Vincent and the Grenadines have been issued.
“The journey over the past 20 months to
put the legislative and administrative frameworks in place was certainly one of
the most difficult, yet gratifying, tasks I have had the opportunity to lead in
my career. It was not without major challenges,” said Minister of Agriculture
and Industry Saboto Caesar as he made the announcement.
He said the step-by-step policy
guidance from Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, and the significant support
received from his Cabinet and parliamentary colleagues at different stages of
the preparatory work had contributed to the successful opening of the industry.
The Rastafarian community was also
identified by the Minister as a “central pillar of strength” in guiding the
interaction over the period of consultation.
Throughout the process, religious
leaders, civil society and international legal and business experts
participated in a very open and transparent consultation process to identify
and outline the potential strengths and weaknesses of the different models.
This included a reliance on knowledge in certification and commodity trading
from companies such as Bunny Imports and Exports of Trinidad and Tobago.
“The work has just started,” Caesar
said. “It is our mission in St Vincent and the Grenadines to create a globally
certified industry aimed at supplying medicinal cannabis products, targeting
ailments based on evidence from clinical studies. The mantra is and will
continue to be a successful medicinal cannabis industry begins and ends with
Stakeholders in the industry were
encouraged to set extremely high standards in research and development,
marketing, labour relations, environmental protection and general corporate
“Surviving with no trade preferences,
grappling with the resultant implications of climate change on cannabis
cultivation, competing with global producers, effectively regulating the
industry to satisfy national and international laws, continuing to ensure food
safety and food security, while at the same time balancing many unique
variables will become our day to day reality,” Minister Caesar said.
But he said the Unity Labour Party
administration does not shy away from challenges.
“The successful completion of the Argyle International Airport; the education and housing revolutions; managing the transition from a monocrop to a diversified food production platform; the expansion of our tourism and health infrastructure; obtaining a seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council; and geothermal exploration are all evidence that once, as a people, we maintain our focus – we will achieve our goals,” he said.
Former UK Police Officer Jailed for Raping Visitor During His 2015 Vacation in Antigua
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Tuesday July 16, 2019 – A former British police officer has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for raping a young woman when the two met on vacation in Antigua just over four years ago.
Lee Martin-Cramp, who was a member of the UK Metropolitan Police Force, will be incarcerated at the former US Naval Base on the island, in keeping with the agreement between local and UK authorities.
According to the evidence in the trial, Martin-Cramp raped the 22-year-old woman, a foreign student nurse, during his vacation in May 2015.
The two had met on dating app Tinder and went to a bar before going to her apartment where they chatted and drank wine before deciding to watch a movie. According to the evidence, the then 22-year-old police officer spiked the woman’s drink when she left the room to change her clothes.
had told the court she noticed the wine had a strange taste when she returned,
but Martin-Cramp told her he had added some vodka to it, so she took a few more
sips. She said she subsequently started feeling dizzy and stopped drinking, but
Martin-Cramp forced himself on her and she woke up later bruised and in pain.
The woman said she maintained WhatsApp contact with her rapist after the incident so she could eventually get him to admit to the crime. And he did, telling her to pretend it never happened, and she reported it to police.
In one of the messages, after the woman told him he had taken her virginity, Martin-Cramp replied: “I can’t give it back haha”.
Martin-Cramp was extradited from the UK to Antigua and Barbuda last September to face the courts for the crime, and after a seven-day trial two months ago, he was convicted.
Following his conviction, he was dismissed from the Metropolitan Police which he joined the year before the rape. He had been posted to the Wanted Offenders Unit in Wimbledon, South East London before his arrest.
EU Signs Financing Agreement with Dominica Government in Support of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
ROSEAU, Dominica, Tuesday July 16, 2019 – The European Union has committed to support Dominica’s renewable energy sector.
The two recently signed
an agreement that will make EC$7.91 million (US$2.93 million) available to the Eastern
Caribbean nation to assist in increasing the resilience of strategic
infrastructure, strengthening the competitiveness and the resilience of the
energy sector, and implementing the island’s international commitments under
the Paris Agreement.
Among other activities,
the support aims to render the country’s international airport energy-independent
and disaster-resilient, through the installation of a solar power plant within
the Douglas Charles airport premises.
The programme is expected
to run until 2022, and comes in addition to the ongoing programmes that the
European Union and the Government of Dominica are implementing in the housing
and post-disaster recovery sectors.
Acknowledging the need by most Caribbean States for a swift and smooth transition towards renewable and efficient energy systems, the European Union said it remains committed its partnerships, supporting also similar programmes at regional or national level.
African News5 months ago
ICT Tenders: Government at work
News4 months ago
Suspend intended CAL lease of Boeing aircraft, T&T Opposition urges
American Entertainment4 months ago
Chicago Mayor Says City Will Send Smollett Bill for Investigation
News4 months ago
Perimeter fencing to improve safety at Red Bank Primary
Music3 months ago
Christopher Martin – I'm A Big Deal | Official Music Video
African News3 months ago
Clashes in Peru coca eradication operation leave at least two dead
Music3 months ago
Cristy Barber from VP RECORDS flys in for Chino Album Launch
Trinidad News4 months ago
Heavy Fines for Breaching Plastic Ban Law in Barbados, But Opposition Says They’re Too High