The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, concluded a productive trip to Barbados and Jamaica from January 9 to 14, 2023. Minister Sajjan helped strengthen Canadian engagement with the Caribbean by demonstrating support for local and regional priorities, including climate change, disaster preparedness and response, gender equality, justice sector reform, COVID-19 response and food security.
Canada is committed to the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and accelerating progress across the SDGs through the Decade of Action. During his visit, Minister Sajjan announced a total of $127.75 million for three Canadian-funded projects that will help increase climate resilience, improve gender equality and justice services, and increase access to COVID-19 vaccines in the Caribbean. On January 10, during a round table on disaster preparedness and response, he announced a $750,000 allocation for the Climate Resilience Execution Agency of Dominica (CREAD), bringing Canada’s funding to the project to over $3.7 million. On January 12, he announced a $12-million allocation for the Social Justice project (So-JUST) for Jamaica. And on January 13, during a local launch event in Jamaica for Canada’s Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGIVE), he announced a $45-million allocation to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and a $70-million allocation to UNICEF. Minister Sajjan also reiterated Canada’s support to address the vulnerabilities of Small Island Development States and to improve access to finance.
Minister Sajjan visited the Regional Security System (RSS) and the Barbados Department of Emergency Management including its national warehouse. In addition, he participated in discussions with key interlocutors on regional disaster management, including the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the World Food Programme, the RSS, UN coordinators and CREAD members.
In Jamaica, he celebrated 60 years of the Canada-Jamaica diplomatic and development partnership. He visited a Glastonbury-district food distributor that Canada worked with to increase yields of high-value agriculture products in Jamaica. Minister Sajjan also met with women parliamentarians in Jamaica during a reception at the official residence to celebrate the establishment of the women’s parliamentary caucus. This meeting allowed him to engage in discussions about the new caucus and the challenges and opportunities facing women parliamentarians.