President Biden and Vice President Harris met yesterday with leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic at the Ninth Summit of the Americas to develop a partnership plan to address unique vulnerabilities and pressing economic challenges faced by these countries, which face overlapping economic challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of climate change, food and energy insecurity and lack of access to finance. Seized by these challenges, President Biden and Vice President Harris pledged to work with CARICOM and the Dominican Republic to form three high-level committees to develop immediate and concrete, joint, short-term solutions.
Building on Vice President Harris’ April 29, 2022 meeting with these leaders, the United States launched the United States-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030) to facilitate the development of renewable energy infrastructure, including improving access to finance, and building the region’s resilience to climate-related natural disasters. The joint effort will facilitate collaboration between the U.S. private sector and Caribbean businesses to support the development of renewable energy infrastructure projects from concept to financing, including through technical assistance and tools blended finance to create Caribbean participation in energy projects. Under PACC 2030 and as part of the Partnership of the Americas for Economic Prosperity, the United States will work with international financial institutions to develop financial tools that address the unique challenges of the Caribbean, including exploring alternatives to the criteria for National Income from the World Bank for eligibility for concessional grants. or provide funding.
In addition to the Caribbean’s vulnerability to natural disasters, rising international debt and out-migration, food and nutrition insecurity is on the rise, with approximately 67.5% of the population experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity. To address these challenges, the United States and CARICOM will launch a Caribbean Zero Hunger plan to promote food and nutrition security in the Caribbean. President Biden also announced that the United States would provide $28 million in new food security assistance to Caribbean countries.
Leaders discussed the need to strengthen cooperation and engagement on security, including the fight against trafficking in small arms. The United States and Caribbean countries reaffirm longstanding cooperation on core priorities of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) and broader engagement complementary to CBSI, such as combating human trafficking , cybersecurity and cybercrime. The United States and CARICOM member states support the development of national action plans to combat firearms trafficking, as part of the firearms priority actions and implementation process. implementation of the roadmap. These national action plans can help the United States more effectively tailor our support to CARICOM member nations, specifically to combat the supply and flow of illegal handguns and the trafficking of illegal firearms. assault throughout the region. The leaders also commend the work of the CBSI countries and the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) to implement priority actions on firearms trafficking and the sheet of road. The United States and CARICOM agree on the usefulness of adhering to the Treaty of San José concerning illicit maritime and air traffic in narcotics. This treaty provides states with a valuable legal mechanism that facilitates international cooperation to disrupt illicit maritime traffic and transnational criminal organizations in the Caribbean.
Finally, the United States and CARICOM reaffirm their commitment to promote and defend democracy and the rule of law, as enshrined in the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Our nations are bound together by common values, culture, history and family ties. As governments, we will work in partnership with civil society and the private sector to ensure that democracy benefits all our people and to build societies that are safe, inclusive, prosperous, equitable and resilient to climate change.