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PM Drew meets VP Kamala Harris; participates in discussion on means of boosting US-Caribbean ties

WorldPM Drew meets VP Kamala Harris; participates in discussion on means of boosting US-Caribbean ties

The Vice President of the United States of America, Kamala Harris, along with the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Phillip Davis have successfully hosted the U.S.-Caribbean Leadership Meeting in the capital city of Nassau, the Bahamas on June 8, 2023.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Terrance Drew, along with the Minister of Energy, Konris Maynard were part of the delegation of the Caribbean leaders that held meeting with the Vice President, Kamala Harris.

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It is to be noted  that, the Vice President of the U.S., Harris has also delivered address, adding about the importance of the meeting as a means of empowering the relations between the US and the Caribbean region.

VP Kamala Harris meets Caribbean Leaders; held discussion on means of boosting US-Caribbean ties
VP Kamala Harris meets Caribbean Leaders; held discussion on means of boosting US-Caribbean ties

Vice President, Kamala Harris added that, “Empowering the U.S.-Caribbean ties is a priority for me, as it is for the President Joe Biden. And these meetings have proven- I believe, at a leader level, have proven to be highly important and required to the strength of these ties.”

During the address, she has also announced of over USD100 million in the new assistance package for the Caribbean region. She also emphasized on the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership for Addressing the Climate Crisis (PACC 2030); the requirement for an enhanced diplomatic presence in the eastern Caribbean; the crisis in Haiti; as well as the matters of security and firearms trafficking.

The Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris said that the existential threat of climate change and the efforts taken by the United States of America for assisting the Caribbean via this potential crisis.

She added that, “We have discussed the powerful storms that can possibly affect economic progress, low-lying islands that face erosion, floods, as well as deadly storm spike from rising seas. These talks have resulted in the launching of our U.S.-Caribbean Partnership for Addressing the Climate Crisis- or, as we call it, PACC 2030- last year at the Summit of the Americas. PACC 2030 is mainly designed for helping in driving the transition of Caribbean for clean energy as well as for promoting the energy security and climate resilience.”

VP Kamala Harris meets Caribbean Leaders; held discussion on means of boosting US-Caribbean ties
VP Kamala Harris meets Caribbean Leaders; held discussion on means of boosting US-Caribbean ties

Notably, after the June 2022 Summit in Los Angeles, the U.S. has extended help for facilitating several clean energy throughout the region. One of the project includes assisting with developing commercial geothermal power projects in St Kitts and Nevis.

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In addition, Vice President Harris also highlighted the new PACC 2030 investment initiatives to be introduced by the U.S.

VP Kamala Harris said that, “One, specifically, a $20 million investment in the Caribbean Climate Investment Programe for helping the incentivize the private sector to partner with Caribbean countries for developing more clean energy technologies, like microgrids as well as the energy storage systems, along with for helping the businesses turning more energy efficient in the operations. And second, a $15 million investment for supporting the emergency response efforts and empower the capacity of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.”

“We are seeking more available and — availability of low-cost concessional financing to Caribbean countries. And we believe addressing the climate crisis should be a vital part of the mission of the World Bank. More broadly, new debt must include disaster clauses to allow a pause on debt payments immediately following a natural disaster…Implementation of these reforms will have a major impact on countries in the Caribbean, and we are aiming on achieving these key reforms by the G20 meeting this fall,” VP Kamala Harris stated.

In another major announcement, Vice President Harris pledged the United States’ commitment to curtailing firearms trafficking in the Caribbean by prohibiting illegal shipments of firearms and ammunition, holding offenders accountable, and enforcing justice.

Along with this, during her opening statement, VP Harris also emphasized the commitment of the Biden-Harris Administration to assisting Haiti during its time of crisis.

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