LONDON - In a bid to remain agile amid an unpredictable hurricane season, St Kitts and Nevis has launched a new fund for their world-renown Citizenship by Investment Programme.

Following a series of high impact hurricanes that have caused significant damage in the Caribbean, the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Unit has introduced the temporary Hurricane Relief Fund – an innovative response to allow the Federation greater protection against future natural disasters.
Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris, believes the fund will directly benefit both citizens of the Federation and potential applicants:
“The Hurricane Relief Fund is an attractive option for citizenship applicants in the way it fulfils their own desire to make a positive impact on the environment in which they are seeking to play an active part.”
CEO of the Citizenship by Investment Unit for the St Kitts and Nevis Programme, Les Khan, is currently in Dubai to launch the new fund to immigration agents.

SAINT LUCIA - From October 5 to October 9, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LBTQI) activists from across the region gathered on Saint Lucia for the 5th annual Caribbean Women and Sexual Diversity Conference (CWSDC). The groundbreaking pre-eminent networking event for LBTQI activists was con- vened under the theme ‘Self-Development for Community Empowerment’.

“The first ever Caribbean Women and Sexual Diversity Conference was held on Curacao in 2013. Since then the event has traveled the Caribbean from Suriname to Trinidad to St. Croix and now, because of the steadfast involve- ment of United and Strong, to Saint Lucia,” organiser Kenita Placide says.

Maria Fontenelle, co-coordinator of the event since its inception, notes “The CWSDC is, in more than one aspect, the premier event for LBTQI activists to grow their skills and network. It has grown in recognition and scope around the region, particularly because of the work in which activists engage post-conference. It is now vested in the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE), which as a regional organisation is better poised to maintain it.”

Conference organisers say over the years the conference has focused on empowering activists to better serve their communities and region.

CAYMAN ISLANDS A 33-year-old Caymanian man is breathing again - with a sigh of relief - after the Health City Cayman Islands medical team brought him back from the brink of death.

Bjorn Ebanks' heart stopped twice, and he underwent CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) for almost 90 minutes before being placed on advanced life support and undergoing emergency surgery to remove life-threatening blood clots in his lungs.

The surgical experience and skills of Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil, Health City's Chief Cardiac Surgeon and Senior Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon, saved Ebanks' life with a procedure so difficult that fewer than 20 hospitals in the world are likely to have attempted it.

Ebanks arrived at the tertiary care facility in East End, Grand Cayman via ambulance. During the journey, he went into cardiac arrest.

KRALENDIJK – During its visit to Bonaire on October 3rd the Board of financial supervision Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Cft) emphasized the need for an adequate budget execution (such as key role functions) and the management of government entities in its meetings with the Executive Council and the Island Council. "It requires collaboration and effort of not only the finance department but of all the management boards, the Executive Council and the Island Council in order to improve this rapidly," was the statement of the new Cft chairman Raymond Gradus.

During the visit of the Board, meetings were held with the Lieutenant Governor, the Executive Board and the Island Council. A work visit was made to the Chamber of Commerce. The Cft was informed of the many economic developments and the challenges the various sectors are facing. In addition, the rapid succession of various Executive Councils and Commissioners has also been addressed, which is something that causes important decisions to be delayed. Chairman Raymond Gradus: "If plans are not implemented (timely), this is not good for the investment climate, detrimental to economic growth and, therefore, not good for Bonaire society as a whole."

The 2017 budget implementation and the 2018 budget preparation were discussed with the new Finance Commissioner. One of the subjects was the intention to raise staff costs in the 2018 budget. Another topic was the prior agreement to fill up a number of crucial vacancies. It is agreed that these crucial functions will be completed by January 1st, 2018. In addition, the Commissioner indicated to come with plans to limit the increase of staff costs.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - In the aftermath of the passage of hurricane Maria, the local fire brigade in Dominica has been pressed into service for much of the clean-up and restoration, along with its day-to-day firefighting duties in the capital of Roseau and beyond.

Last week, the brigade issued an urgent appeal when a fire pump, a vital piece of equipment, needed urgent replacement. The loss of the pump meant that the brigade would have been severely hampered in the assistance it could render to communities in dire need of help.

CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Country Head in Dominica Stephen Lander became aware of the urgent need and contacted the bank’s Comtrust Foundation, the charitable arm of the regional bank, for assistance in last Friday.

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