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UK parliamentarians visit to Grenada

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A six-member Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK) cross-party delegation of members and officials from the UK Houses of Parliament, visited Grenada from 19-21 February. They also visited Barbados.

The visit was organised in partnership with the Parliament of Grenada and the British High Commission.

Their programme of meetings and visits addressed topical issues such as international trade, security, climate change and disaster resilience. During their time in Grenada, the delegation met with key parliamentary stakeholders, officials and leading civil society members.

Lord Mann of Holbeck Moor, on behalf of the delegation, said, “It was an incredible experience to visit Barbados and Grenada as part of a cross-party delegation. We touched on a range of issues, including trade, climate change and the fight against crime, all of which are important issues for both the UK and the region. Strengthening our economic, environmental and security partnerships will be of benefit to both sides. The delegation enjoyed meeting with Ministers and Parliamentarians, and I hope our valued relationship with the Eastern Caribbean will be further strengthened by this visit.’’

British Resident Commissioner to Grenada Wendy Freeman said, “I am very grateful to the MPs from the UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association for their valuable visit to Grenada. Not only for strengthening the parliamentary and commonwealth links but also for supporting the newly established British High Commission. Come back again soon!”

This bilateral visit to the region was the first CPA UK visit in several years. The programme provided an excellent opportunity to strengthen relations with the region, particularly on areas such as trade, climate change, security and social issues.

About CPA UK

CPA UK supports and strengthens parliamentary democracy throughout the Commonwealth. It focuses on key issues including women in parliament, modern slavery, financial oversight, security and trade.

Peer to peer learning is central to the way CPA UK works. CPA UK brings together UK and Commonwealth parliamentarians and officials, to share knowledge and learn from each other. It aims to improve parliamentary oversight, scrutiny and representation. CPA UK is located in, and funded by, the UK Parliament.

For further information, please contact Fleur ten Hacken at tenhackenf@parliament.uk, or CPA UK at cpauk@parliament.uk or tweet @CPA _UK.

British High Commission

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Caribbean & World

Grenadians to leave their homes for essential food items only

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by Curlan Campbell, Now Grenada

  • Public’s refusal to comply threatens to exacerbate health situation
  • Village shops will be open to ensure limited exposed
  • Most shops to be open from 8 am to noon on specified days

Grenadian authorities are working hard to limit the spread of the coronavirus, which to date has infected 9 people. However, the public’s refusal to comply with government instructions threatens to exacerbate the health situation.

It in this regard that Minister for Health, Hon. Nickolas Steele announced Sunday that a mandatory curfew will be imposed starting from 7 pm Monday, 30 March. Prior to this, a limited State of Emergency yielded poor results due to lack of compliance, and it had been observed that the public’s lack of adherence to the social distancing protocol poses a significant risk for the safety of the various communities.

Therefore, persons are encouraged to abide by the 24-hour curfew imposed or face the consequences.

As part of the regulations for the mandatory curfew, although people are allowed to venture out for food items, Steele said that it has been noticed that persons are leaving their homes to purchase non-essential food items. “We have observed what people are going to the supermarkets for, and they are not going for essentials. I haven’t seen anyone coming out with an entire week’s worth of food or so. I see people going in for incidentals, and that is almost falling into greed and ignorance. I want to repeat while we said you can leave for food, I really want to ask the Grenadian people to do not leave [their homes] unless it is a food emergency.”

During the 7-day 24-hour imposed curfew, shops are expected to be open from 8 am to noon on specified days. The government stated that most, if not all of the village shops will be open based on the prescribed hours. Minister Steele said this is to ensure that people are exposed as little as possible and for a shorter distance as possible in the wake of the spread of the virus.

Prime Minister and Minister for National Security, Dr Keith Mitchell, called upon shopkeepers to be responsible. “Clearly we had no choice but to allow the village shops to be open, but we expect that the management of the shops will also be understanding of his responsibility to protect himself and his family and the person who comes to the shop, so they should ensure that the people stick to the protocol.”

Minister Steele indicated that patient zero is currently in stable condition and has been allowed to recover at home under surveillance.

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Caribbean & World

IRD extends March deadline to 30 April 2020

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As a direct response to curbing the threat of Covid-19, the Inland Revenue Division (IRD) advises the public that pursuant to Section 26 of the Tax Administration Act 2016, all filing deadlines due on 30 and 31 March 2020 have been extended to 30 April 2020.

This relief is automatic, and taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRD to qualify for this extension.

Ministry of Finance

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CIBC FirstCaribbean donates US$250,000 to regional Covid-19 fight

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Regional bank CIBC FirstCaribbean is moving to assist countries across the region to purchase much-needed Covid-19 testing kits.

The bank, through its charitable arm the FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation, will donate a total of US$250,000 toward the purchase of the kits in the countries across its regional footprint. The bank will make the donation through its various operating companies across the Caribbean.

Chief Executive Officer of the bank and Chair of the foundation, Colette Delaney, made the announcement noting, “testing was one of the main weapons in the arsenal against the spread of the disease.” She added, “community spread is one of the main ways the virus is transmitted and testing is key to identify, isolate and treat those affected and limit its spread.”

Delaney thanked the region’s “public health leadership, medical professionals and frontline workers and others involved in the essential work of keeping our communities safe and functioning during this very difficult time.”

The donation follows the bank’s recent announcements of a suite of relief assistance to eligible clients including:

  • 6-month payment moratoria on existing loans and mortgages.
  • Temporary revolving or working capital financing options for our Corporate Banking and Business Banking clients.
  • A special waiver of late payment fees and default interest to all eligible Retail, Business, Banking, Corporate Investment Banking and Wealth Management Clients effective for the 6 month moratorium period for existing loans and mortgages.
  • Credit cardholders automatically benefitting from a payment waiver for 3 months based on their current account standing.

Delaney noted, “Our response has been in the spirit of partnership that has always existed between the bank and the people of the region. This two-pronged approach has allowed us to not only contribute to the national response in each of the countries in which we operate, but to directly assist our clients who are affected.”

Delaney also noted that many of the bank’s staff are choosing to make personal donations to the various relief programmes in their islands across the Caribbean and thanked them for their generosity.

“Our employees are known for their calm and professional response, particularly in a crisis. We thank them for their generosity and commitment to continuing to provide service to our clients in these most unusual of circumstances.”

CIBC FirstCaribbean has a staff of approximately 3,000 across 16 Caribbean countries.

CIBC FirstCaribbean

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