By NAN BUSINESS EDITOR
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Weds. Feb 15, 2023: The United States government this week highlighted the many ways its helping the Caribbean region with an announcement that it is providing the Caribbean with $28 million in assistance to address urgent food security needs.
According to a US State Department statement, USAID has deployed five technical experts to the Caribbean region who advise on efficient use of fertilizer, biofertilizer production, nutrient management and crop insurance feasibility, and are working to develop an operational logistics and supply chain model to streamline intraregional trade.
USAID launched the two-year, $2.7 million Resilient Agriculture Activity (RAA) in the Dominican Republic to directly address the spike in food prices, crude oil and commodities – including fertilizers and other common agricultural inputs – due to supply chain disruptions resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic. RAA will focus on soil fertility and fertilizer best practices, other climate-smart agriculture practices and local, organic fertilizer production.
USAID, in coordination with CARICOM, is designing an integrated food security activity that will increase farmer adoption of climate-smart technologies, improve smallholder fruit and vegetable production, build capacity of SMEs in agro-processing, increase technical knowledge among extensionists, and address sanitary and phytosanitary measures limiting open trade.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also conducted three capacity building training sessions to promote pesticide management and strengthen food security.
“The United States, CARICOM, and the Dominican Republic developed medium- and long-term action plans that will guide ongoing efforts to enhance food security in the region,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, under the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030) the United States says it is also working with Caribbean nations to develop wide-ranging, long-term energy security and climate resilience solutions.
“Understanding the need for reliable, cost-effective energy solutions, in January 2023, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued Trinidad and Tobago a specific license to allow them to develop the Dragon gas field, located in Venezuelan maritime territory, paving the way for LNG from this eventual project to benefit the entire Caribbean,” the State Department said.
And on climate change, USAID last month announced its intention to partner with the Government of Barbados with funding to support the establishment of the Blue Green Investment Corporation, a regional financing vehicle to finance projects that will help with climate change mitigation and adaptation, including resilient housing, renewable energy, green transportation, and water conservation.
The United States says it supported flexibility in the IMF’s allocation of the Resilience Sustainability Trust, under which the IMF approved significant financing for Barbados’ future investments in climate resilience.