by Linda Straker
- Germany begins 6-month presidency of European Council from 1 July
- Grenada and region look forward to German advocacy
- Germany increases funding for PAHO and WHO
Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter David, wants Germany to bring challenging issues facing Grenada and other Caribbean islands to the table for discussion, when it begins its 6-month presidency of the European Council from 1 July.
“We welcome Germany’s assumption of the Presidency of the European Council. Germany has been a long-standing friend of the Caribbean and of Grenada. For us in the Caribbean we face several challenges that have been exacerbated by Covid-19; the issue of access to international financing is critical,” David said in his presentation at the German Latin America and Caribbean Summit held on Wednesday, 3 June 2020.
“We have constantly stated that our characterisation as middle-income countries has blocked our access to financing. We reiterate Antigua’s call for vulnerability to be used as criteria to access financing,” said David who identified other issues facing Caricom members. “Additionally, the issue of blacklisting is one that we have been advocating and confronting in the Caribbean for many years; it has negatively affected our growth. We look forward to Germany advocacy on our behalf at the European Council,” David told the virtual summit.
Using the opportunity to thank Germany for convening the meeting, despite the many challenges David said that all in the summit we must continue on the path of cooperation and multilateralism. “In this regard, I will like to highlight the role of PAHO and the World Health Organisation in combating Covid-19. We therefore welcome your comments this morning where you indicated Germany’s increase in funding for these organisations,” said David.
“The entire Caribbean region benefitted from their efforts and for that, we are extremely grateful. Without PAHO and the WHO we would have been in a much worst position in the Caribbean, Caricom area,” he added.
Reminding the summit that Covid-19 has had a serious impact on the region that will have far reaching consequences, he said that what has been a remarkable health achievement does not reflect the deep economic impact it will have on Grenada and the Caricom region.
Thousands have lost jobs in the region since governments declared a state of emergencies and closed borders for commercial travel as part of measures to reduce, control and stop the spread of the virus in the region. Within the OECS as of 3 June 2020, the region had recorded 140 cases.
Tracking Covid-19 in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) shows 114 recovered, 4 deaths, and 20 classified as active.
Grenada has 23 confirmed laboratory cases, zero deaths and only 4 presently labelled as active.