Premier Andrew Fahie met virtually with United Nations Development Programme officials this month to discuss continued collaboration between the Virgin Islands and the UNDP on Covid-19 response, sustainable development, resilience and small-business support.
Valerie Cliff, the newly appointed UNDP resident representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, provided an update on the VI’s ongoing participation in UNDP’s Future Tourism project and other initiatives, according to a press release from Benito Wheatley, the premier’s special envoy.
The tourism project is currently providing small and medium-sized businesses with training, which will be followed by grants designed to help them recover from the pandemic, the release noted.
Mr. Fahie expressed satisfaction with the territory’s participation in the project, and updated Ms. Cliff on the current Covid-19 outbreak in the territory.
Regarding the recovery of the VI and wider Caribbean, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Ugo Blanco listed the UNDP’s policy recommendations to Caribbean governments, which emphasise the importance of vaccinations as well as economic “reactivation;” social programmes; and reopening schools.
Mr. Fahie and Ms. Cliff also stressed the importance of disaster preparedness during the hurricane season and acknowledged the region’s heightened vulnerability due to the pandemic, according to the release.
They also agreed that the VI and UNDP will continue working together achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Mr. Fahie was joined at the July 13 virtual meeting by Mr. Wheatley and Dwynel Davis, assistant secretary for external affairs.