Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper has announced support for two Caribbean development programs as part of Canada’s 12-year, $600 million commitment to the region.
The Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages project, through the Canadian Hunger Foundation, will receive $19 million. PROPEL’s goal is to enable farmers to increase the quality and quantity of locally grown produce and improve buyer relations and financing options. The agricultural project aims to contribute to the region’s economic growth by increased income and employment, initially focusing on Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Barbados and Guyana.
The remaining $20 million will go to the Community Disaster Risk Reduction initiative. As implementing partner, the Caribbean Development Bank will carry out demonstration projects in high-risk communities in the region. The project aims to determine area-specific needs for preventive measures and enhance community-level resilience by training government officials, local leaders and community workers.
The budget was made public after the prime minister’s meeting with his Jamaican counterpart, Portia Simpson Miller. At the meeting, the two leaders discussed existing bilateral collaborations, exchanged notes on development assistance progress and pledged continuous support for trade and investment.
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