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EDITO
Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Barbados is beginning to feel the impact of the vote by Britons to leave the European Union (EU), with tourism’s private sector reporting a fall in financial returns. While not providing figures, Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Sue Springer yesterday revealed that British visitors to Barbados were spending less since the vote, due to the sliding value of the pound sterling. Addressing the association’s quarterly general meeting at the Hilton Barbados Resort, Springer explained that while arrivals from the island’s primary source market have not declined, there was evidence of cut backs in spend.

Small developing states in the Pacific have traditionally relied on imports of fossil fuels. The cost of the fuel, combined with its price volatility, and the islands’ geographic remoteness, are all significant strains on these small economies. In addition, the use of fossil fuels adds to global climate change effects which pose an existential threat to many Pacific communities. It was for these reasons the European Union, the world’s largest donor of development aid, and New Zealand, a major development actor in the Pacific, decided three years ago to join forces and improve prospects across the region.

The European Union (EU) and the Republic of Kiribati today signed a 5 Million Euro energy project. The project is framed in the European Union –New Zealand energy partnership that was established at the Pacific Energy Summit in 2013, which has delivered renewable energy projects in Tuvalu, Samoa, the Cook Islands and Kiribati. At the Pacific Energy Conference held in Auckland, New Zealand in June, 2016, this partnership expanded to include Niue, Tonga, and the Northern Pacific.

The head of the Cook Islands Ministry of Marine Resources says they remain committed to a sustainably-managed purse seine fishery. This came after a parliamentary committee's assessment of purse seining plans by the European Union was tabled this week. The secretary Ben Ponia, who had been centrally involved in promoting the scheme, said the ministry maintains its view that the ban sought on fish aggregating devices, or FADs, would have no conservation value and deny the country economic benefits.

WFP plans to use GBP 2 million to support 220,000 displaced people across Darfur with vouchers for four months, helping them to purchase a wide variety of food items from local shops. The remaining GBP 1 million will be used to top up a contribution of GBP 2.2 million that WFP received early this year for the launch of a cash assistance programme. While providing families with food items they can purchase and eat, cash and vouchers also boost the local economy, helping to stimulate markets by engaging traders that buy from local farmers and markets.