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Defense supports food bank Curaçao with manpower and distribution.

WILLEMSTAD:---Military personnel on Curaçao support the food bank with both manpower and logistical support. Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, the food bank has worked hard to get the many thousands of food packages on time. They do this with volunteers who are affiliated with churches, sports clubs, or scouting.

The food bank, through the intervention of the country, has asked the Ministry of Defense for help to gain extra manpower during the coming weeks to pack the food packages on time. With the new normal, the availability of volunteers has decreased because many are back to their regular work. The Ministry of Defense also supplies vehicles to support distribution to distribution centers, such as churches or community centers.

Supporting civil authorities is one of the three main tasks of Defense. The Defense organization will support the food bank for the next two weeks, with the option of extending if necessary.


Continuation urgent Plenary Public session of Parliament regarding the state of affairs from the Minister of VSA regarding the mass illegal labor dismissals in connection with COVID-19 and an elucidation on food packages distributed thus far by the Govern

PHILIPSBURG:--- The House of Parliament will sit in a virtual Plenary Public session on Thursday.

The Public meeting is a continuation of the meeting which was adjourned on April 24, 2020. The meeting will be reconvened on Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 14.00 hrs. The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor will be present.

The agenda point is:

2. Elucidation on food packages distributed thus far to persons by the Government (IS/768/2019-2020 dated April 21, 2020)
Due to measures taken to mitigate the coronavirus (COVID-19), the House of Parliament is currently closed to the general public until further notice.
The parliamentary session will be held virtually and will be carried out live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, via the internet, and Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten


Carlos Felipe Jaramillo Appointed World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean.

carlosfelipejaramillo13052020Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, an economist and development expert with almost two decades of experience at the World Bank Group, has been appointed Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean Region, effective July 1, 2020. Mr. Jaramillo will manage Bank relations with 31 countries and a portfolio of ongoing projects, technical assistance, and grants of almost US$32 billion.
Mr. Jaramillo will lead the Bank’s unprecedented response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis in the region. The pandemic has hit Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) hard. Millions of people are facing serious social, economic, and public policy implications. The poorest and most vulnerable people will suffer the most and it is crucial to do everything possible to mitigate that impact.
“The World Bank Group will play a critical and constructive role in our region’s recovery,” said Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean Region. “We must rethink the future, not just go back to the same normal as before. That means making the changes needed to fuel growth, reduce poverty, and protect the environment.”
The World Bank quickly mobilized to support the health, social, and economic response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Around US$700 million was quickly deployed in 14 countries in LAC to acquire gloves, masks, respirators, and other critical medical supplies. Over the next 15 months, the World Bank’s assistance to developing countries will reach US$160 billion. Much of this will benefit LAC government to better deal with the emergency.
Social protection programs will be more necessary than ever to help the poorest people and informal workers. Efforts must be made to preserve jobs and prevent those who recently climbed up to join the middle class from falling back down into poverty.
Prior to his current role, Mr. Jaramillo was the World Bank country director for Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, and Uganda, based in Nairobi. He was also senior director of the World Bank Group’s Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice (MTI), where he led a global team of more than 450 economists. Since joining the World Bank in 2002, he served two terms as country director in the Latin America and Caribbean Region.
“It is an honor and privilege to be returning to the LAC region at this time to help our countries face the enormous challenges ahead,” Mr. Jaramillo said.
Mr. Jaramillo is a Colombian citizen. Prior to joining the Bank, he was a public servant in the Government of Colombia, holding offices in the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank, the National Planning Department, and the Ministry of Trade.
Mr. Jaramillo holds an M.A. and a PhD. in development economics from Stanford University. He has taught at the Department of Economics of the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota and at the University of Maryland, College Park.


Urgent Attention Should Be Given to the Unique Vulnerabilities and Challenges Faced by Caribbean Countries to Achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in the Context of the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond: Alicia Bárcena

ECLAC’s Executive Secretary led yesterday an extraordinary meeting of the Community of Practice with Caribbean countries that are presenting their Voluntary National Reviews at the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2020.

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is at stake and decades of progress in human development are at risk of being reversed if more attention is not given to supporting Caribbean countries in their pursuit of sustainable development, Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) stressed on Tuesday, 12 May.
The COVID-19 pandemic is occurring at a time when Caribbean countries are already facing tremendous challenges in implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) given their unique vulnerability to external shocks, their high levels of indebtedness, limited access to concessional funding due to their middle-income status, their inability to counter blacklisting, compounded by the need for fiscal adjustments and debt restructuring, all within the context of their high exposure to climate change and extreme weather events, with a new hurricane season starting in two weeks’ time, Bárcena added.
The Executive Secretary of ECLAC chaired a virtual extraordinary meeting of the Community of Practice to offer support to those Caribbean countries that are preparing to present their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) to the 2020 session of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), scheduled to be held in July. The event was moderated by the Director of ECLAC’s subregional headquarters for the Caribbean, Diane Quarless, and included the participation of high-level authorities and national focal points for the 2030 Agenda of Barbados, Jamaica (as observer), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. The United Nations Resident Coordinators covering these countries, as well as experts from ECLAC’s Caribbean subregional office and headquarters in Santiago participated, as did other representatives of the United Nations system.
In her remarks, the Executive Secretary recognized the commendable efforts being made by Caribbean countries to present their VNRs this year in such challenging times, this effort demonstrating the subregion’s unequivocal commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“The process of inter-ministerial coordination, multi-stakeholder consultation, and multi-dimensional analysis to account for the progress made in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which is already a complex task, becomes even more challenging in the context of a COVID-19 crisis, that is characterized by limited contact, competing priorities, and huge economic, social, technological and human challenges”, she stressed.
In her presentation, the Executive Secretary noted that only 10 years remain for countries to meet the objectives of the 2030 Agenda and that there are already warning signs regarding the achievement of the SDGs. In this regard, she informed that ECLAC had analyzed progress on implementation of the 17 SDGs in the region, by reviewing 72 statistical series of indicators. These showed that 4 targets have already been reached; 15 are likely to be reached given current trends; 8 need more public policy intervention; 13 need significant public policy intervention; 27 are at a standstill, and 5 are suffering setbacks.
She concluded that in light of its impact on economic, social and environmental matters in the short and medium-term, the COVID-19 pandemic represents the greatest challenge that the subregion has faced since the financial crisis of 2008 and a real threat to the region's sustainable development path in the context of the 2030 Agenda.
In her intervention, the Honourable Marsha Caddle, Minister of Economic Affairs and Investment in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment of Barbados underscored that despite the very challenging prospect of contemplating the submission of a VNR in the current circumstances, the occasion presented an important opportunity to highlight how the pandemic is affecting the achievement of specific SDGs and to scale up investments needed for the country, particularly in social protection, fiscal and financial inclusion policies, and debt restructuring schemes to enable the transition to carbon neutrality. “It is not business as usual kind of discussion or moment, we are proposing to really focus on the SDGs impacted by COVID-19 and present opportunities to fast track achievements on the SDGs and on renewed partnerships (Goal 17)”.
Giselle Myers, Senior Economist, in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development and Information Technology of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines highlighted the vision of her country to put people at the center of development, reiterating her government’s commitment to leave no one behind through the staging of a series of consultative processes for the VNR and through their continued effort to align their National Economic and Social Development Plan (2013 – 2025) with the 2030 Agenda.
Joanne Deoraj, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Development of Trinidad and Tobago, highlighted inextricable linkages between the SDGs and the National Development Strategy- Vision 2030, emphasizing a ”whole of government” and ”whole of society” approach, which has underscored the importance of collaboration and partnerships across the public sector, private sector, and civil society, including for the recovery plan post-COVID-19. Considering the pandemic and related challenges facing the country’s oil and gas sector, she also stressed the importance of ensuring that SDG progress is maintained, and every effort made to build resilience.
The Executive Secretary of ECLAC called on countries to incorporate in their VNRs any pre-existing or new challenges that might have emerged from the current situation. She reiterated the continuing, committed, and innovative support being offered by ECLAC and the United Nations system as a whole in assisting the countries in this process, as well as in building resilience and recovery post-COVID-19 and beyond, and in helping them to advocate for a new global economic architecture that will consider the restructuring of domestic and external debt of Caribbean small islands developing states (SIDS).
In this process, ECLAC has developed the COVID-19 Observatory with the support of the United Nations Resident Coordinators, which aims at offering analysis of the economic and social impacts of the pandemic and at monitoring the measures taken by the countries of the region to respond to the crisis. This is in addition to other tools and proposals, such as the SDG Gateway, a platform providing comprehensive information and data on the implementation and follow-up of the 2030 Agenda, and the ECLAC Debt for Climate Adaptation Swap Initiative, which is a response to the two most urgent development needs facing the Caribbean: debt and vulnerability.
“We must urgently move towards new development patterns that are oriented towards greater well-being, resilience, environmental sustainability, and inclusive and sustainable international governance based on the 2030 Agenda and other SIDS agenda as well as foster solidarity with Caribbean countries”, Alicia Bárcena concluded.


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