Caricom is looking to maximise the use of its resources in light of new practices from international development partners and over the next few days the Caricom secretariat will be engaged in a high level forum on donor coordination. The meeting was officially declared opened today at the Princess Hotel.
Under the revised treaty of Chaguaramus, the Secretary General and secretariat are mandated to identify and mobilise external resources to implement decisions at the regional levels.
Citing the global financial crisis and its subsequent fall out, Secretary General Irwin La Rocque today noted that the situation has severely challenged the capacity of Caricom member states.
To this end, he noted that external aid has become increasingly important to Caricom countries although international development partners are now looking inwards or even reducing the net flow through grants or concessionary financing.
“Adding to the obstacles has been the troubling and vexing issues of differentiation and graduation which deny many of our countries access to such funding. To graduate CARICOM Member States from access to grant aid, concessionary financial resources or technical assistance, on the basis of per capita income cannot be right.”
Ambassador LaRocque said even as partners shift from bilateral assistance, the onus is now on the secretariat to ensure coordination of regional resources with the hope of minimizing any adverse effect on this could have on member states. [Delicia Fletcher]