GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC):
Outgoing Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Dr Ralph Gonsalves, in his end-of-year statement, has highlighted the resilience of Caribbean nationals in a year that has been like no other.
The prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines said that while the joy of camaraderie may be missed, it should serve to “remind us of the spirit that is engendered from togetherness”.
Said Gonsalves: “As the COVID-19 pandemic raged through the world this past year, our Community harnessed the intellectual and technical capacity available, and successfully managed the health aspects. This resulted in relatively low casualty figures, while containing in large measure the spread of the virus.”
He paid tribute to scientists, medical staff and front-line workers “who have done yeoman service to their fellow citizens”.
US Coast Guard Finds Missing Boaters In Bahamas
MIAMI, Florida (CMC):
The United States Coast Guard says that two missing boaters on the 50-foot sailboat Get Nauti have been located and are safe on Great Harbour Cay, Bahamas.
The US Coast Guard said it was reported that Marty Widrick called her daughter as soon as the vessel arrived at Great Harbor Cay Marina and reported she and Sven Karlsson were safe.
Her daughter called District Seven watchstanders to alert search coordinators of the new information.
“Watchstanders spoke with marina officials who confirmed Karlsson and Widrick were safe,” it said.
According to the US Coast Guard, Karlsson said they departed the island of Great Inagua on December 15 enroute to the Turks and Caicos Islands, “but encountered bad weather and changed course to head north through the Bahamian archipelagic zone, with a final destination of Fort Lauderdale”.
“Filing float plans with loved ones is imperative to ensuring a search is initiated at the earliest possible opportunity,” said Lt Chris Dunton, command duty officer, District Seven. “And although the plan changed in this case, a search would (have) never started without it.
Eastern Caribbean Dollar Remains Strong, Says ECCB Governor
CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC):
Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Governor Timothy Antoine Says The Currency In The Subregion Remains “Very Strong” Amid The Economic Fallout From The Current COVID-19 Pandemic.
Antoine said that the currency’s strength was among “many achievements” for which the ECCB can be justifiably proud.
“Our EC dollar remains very strong. It’s current backing in foreign reserves is 97 percent,” Antoine disclosed.
He also said the ECCB this year recorded its highest profit ever – $63.1 million. However, the ECCB governor observed that the currency union is experiencing its largest shock on record.
Antoine said there’s a projected decline of 16.2 percent this year.
“Our governments continue to grapple with significantly lower revenues while simultaneously expending considerable sums on COVID-19 response measures,” he said.
“Evidently, this moment calls for shared sacrifice by all stakeholders as we navigate this difficult passage together,” he expressed.
He said the region is thankful that it only experienced a small number of deaths from the pandemic.
“Looking ahead, we project the ECCU will grow by 5 percent next year, as tourism, our dominant export, slowly recovers,” he stated.