Canada has pledged to support Barbados’ economic recovery programme.
Following a meeting with Prime Minister Mia Mottley and other Government officials on Tuesday, that country’s High Commissioner to Bridgetown Marie Legault told reporters that Canada stood ready and willing to help the island where possible.
“We looked at a broad number of issues between Canada and Barbados, and of course the economic situation and priorities of Barbados were discussed,” Legault told reporters during a news conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre to launch a multi-million dollar fund to support women’s rights.
“Canada has been a friend. We have been friends for a long time so we have been following the situation in Barbados. And of course we will be following closely and we will be there to help in ways where we can. We will be sharing experiences,” she added, without providing details.
In response, Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sandra Husbands thanked Canada for its assistance over the years, pointing out that Barbados was “in need of a friend” as it continued to battle its economic challenges.
“Right now we are in need of a friend and we have asked Canada to stand with us as we walk through some very difficult waters over the next couple of years and we will rely on that friendship to help us at this time of need,” Husbands said.
In the meantime, Canada has pledged CA$4.8 million (BDS$7.2 million) towards strengthening women’s organizations and movements in ten Caribbean Community countries.
The funding, which will cover a five year period, forms part of Canada’s Women’s Voice and Leadership programme.
“We must put the empowerment of women and girls at the heart of our development efforts because we believe and know that this is the most effective way to eliminate poverty and inequality for everyone,” said parliamentary secretary to the minister of international development in Canada Kamal Khera in making the announcement.
While Barbados will not directly benefit from the fund, it is expected to assist at least ten regional organizations.