Wed | Oct 4, 2023

VP Harris lands in Bahamas for US, Caribbean summit

Published:Friday | June 9, 2023 | 1:14 AM
US Vice President Kamala Harris.
US Vice President Kamala Harris.


United States Vice President Kamala Harris landed in The Bahamas on Thursday afternoon where she will be cohosting the US Caribbean leaders meeting with Bahamian Prime Minister Philip ‘Brave’ Davis, who is the current chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Shortly before her arrival, the White House announced that the region will be receiving US$100 million in assistance.

There will be $98 million in new funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) “to address climate, energy, food security and humanitarian assistance in the Caribbean”.

USAID is also providing nearly US$15m to support disaster risk-reduction, emergency response capacity strengthening and resilience-building across the Caribbean, bringing USAID support over disaster risk and resilience-building to more than US$80m over the past five years.

There will also be support for response to the impacts of climate change, with US$1.5m to the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre to increase the flow of international climate funding.

A further $1m will be provided to partner with the Caribbean Islands Higher Education Resilience Consortium and Northeastern University to help mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

There will also be the establishment of the Blue-Green Investment Corporation in partnership with the Barbados government, the Green Climate Fund and private investors. This ‘green bank’ will have initial capitalisation of US$30m by non-US government partners, it is reported, with a goal of unlocking up to US$210m over three years to finance projects, such as climate resilient housing, renewable energy, clean transportation and water conservation. This will initially be in Barbados before expanding later.

Concerning Haiti, $54m will be provided by USAID in response to the crisis there, as the nation faces gang violence, difficulties accessing food and safe water and more. The money will help to provide food assistance, with 4.9 million people facing “acute food insecurity”.

There will also be a new Haiti Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit to investigate crimes across countries, including those with a US connection. It will focus on firearms and ammunition smuggling, human trafficking and transnational gang activity.