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(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Caribbean’s capacity to respond to climate change will be strengthened with an injection of 4.9 million pounds from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

Mr Alan Duncan Minister of State, DFID told journalists at the closing press conference of the 7Th UK-Caribbean Ministerial Forum that DFID has signaled its commitment to give more support to the Caribbean in its fight to mitigate the effects of climate change primarily because the Caribbean gives value for money.

He applauded the Caribbean for the strong role they played in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Durban, South Africa, last December and for their strong voice on climate change in the international community.

The 4.9 Million pound forms part of the 75 Million pound development programme that the UK government will be supporting in the Caribbean, this year.

Mr Duncan said DFID was also committed to assisting the Caribbean with job creation. Meanwhile, Mr James Brokenshire Minister of State, Home Office, UK told journalists at the press conference that the UK government would work with the Caribbean in devising an effective response to crime and violence.

Security was one of the issues which were given comprehensive treatment at the Forum. The Foreign Ministers agreed to establish a coordination mechanism – UK-Caribbean Expertise Exchange Mechanism – to promote security best practices in both Regions. In addition Mr. Brokenshire announced that the Forum had agreed to collaborate with the US in building capacity in land-based interdiction and law-enforcement units to counter drug trafficking and organized crime. There was also an agreement to work towards the establishment of national prosecution services to enhance the contribution of the justice to law enforcement.

According to Mr Brokenshire the UK remained committed to developing tangible actions to fight crime and violence and is prepared to do so within the framework of what already existed in the Caribbean. In this regard, the UK Government said they would collaborate with the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) in supporting the Caribbean in boosting its capacity to keep its peoples safe and secure.

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