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The United States says it is partnering with Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments in defence of their “shared values”, and to improve the region’s resilience in all aspects including the economy, security and democracy “so that the people of the Caribbean and the United States enjoy prosperity, health and freedom”.
The statement by the US Department of State comes as the country’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry is leading a four-member delegation to the Bahamas to meet with CARICOM leaders who are opening their three day-summit later on Wednesday.
The State Department said that Kerry “will continue efforts to advance international cooperation among nations particularly vulnerable to the climate crisis” and that Washington is providing the Caribbean with US$28 million in assistance to address urgent food security needs.
It said that the United States Agency for International Aid (USAID) has deployed five technical experts to the Caribbean region, “who advise on efficient use of fertiliser, biofertiliser production, nutrient management and crop insurance feasibility, and are working to develop an operational logistics and supply chain model to streamline intraregional trade”.
The State Department said the US Environmental Protection Agency has conducted three capacity-building training sessions in the region to promote pesticide management and strengthen food security.
The USAID, in coordination with CARICOM, is designing an integrated food security activity that will increase farmer adoption of climate-smart technologies, improve smallholder fruit and vegetable production, build capacity of small-medium enterprises (SMEs) in agro-processing, increase technical knowledge among extensionists, and address sanitary and phytosanitary measures limiting open trade.
“The United States, CARICOM and the Dominican Republic developed medium- and long-term action plans that will guide ongoing efforts to enhance food security in the region,” the statement said.
Under the US-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030), Washington said it is working with the Caribbean to develop “wide-ranging, long-term energy security and climate resilience solutions.”
It said understanding the need for reliable, cost-effective energy solutions, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)last month issued Trinidad and Tobago a specific license “to allow them to develop the Dragon gas field, located in Venezuelan maritime territory, paving the way for LNG from this eventual project to benefit the entire Caribbean.”
The Biden administration congratulated CARICOM member-countries that have joined 150 countries in endorsing the Global Methane Pledge, adding that is “committed to working together to meet our collective goal to reduce global methane emissions 30 per cent by 2030 – the single most effective strategy to limit warming in the near term.
“We look forward to supporting national country planning and related methane reduction policy and project efforts, particularly in the waste sector,” the statement said, noting that last month, USAID announced its intention to partner with the Barbados government with funding to support the establishment of the Blue Green Investment Corporation, a regional financing vehicle to finance projects that will help with climate change mitigation and adaptation, including resilient housing, renewable energy, green transportation, and water conservation.
In addition, the department said the United States “supported flexibility” in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) allocation of the Resilience Sustainability Trust, under which the IMF approved significant financing for Barbados’ future investments in climate resilience.