Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces initiatives to foster economic growth in the Caribbean

Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced two initiatives that will promote sustainable economic growth in the Caribbean region. The announcement was made following a meeting between the Prime Minister and Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica.

“Canada shares a special and historic relationship with Jamaica and other countries in the Caribbean. Our Government is committed to deepening these close ties, while helping the region achieve sustainable economic growth,” said the Prime Minister. “The initiatives announced today will help local producers access high value markets, and assist communities in the region to manage and respond to natural disasters.”

Through the Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL) project, the Canadian Hunger Foundation (CHF) will work with the Caribbean Farmers Network to enable farmers to increase the quality and quantity of fresh, regionally grown fruits and vegetables, and help these producers link with buyers such as regional grocery chains, cruise lines, airlines, hotels and restaurants. The project, which is supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)’s Caribbean Program, will also enable producers to maintain internationally accepted food quality and safety standards. PROPEL’s initial focus will be on Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Barbados and Guyana.

The Community Disaster Risk Reduction project, which will be implemented by the Caribbean Development Bank and supported by CIDA’s Caribbean Program, will assist more than 15 communities in managing and responding to natural disasters, thus mitigating the negative social and economic impact of these incidents.

The projects announced today complement other Canadian initiatives, which aim to build a more prosperous and integrated Caribbean community.

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