CARICOM to get Dominica’s highest award

BASSETERRE, St Kitts, October 27, 2006 – Dominica has announced that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will receive that Commonwealth nation’s highest award for Regional Integration at the Parade of Uniformed Groups on its  National Day, November 3rd 2006.

Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerritt  at a Press Conference said the award will be accepted by current CARICOM Chairman, St Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister and CARICOM Secretary General, Dr Edward Carrington.

“The Cabinet has taken a decision to bestow on the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the highest National Award – the Dominica Award of Honour – in recognition and gratitude of CARICOM’s support to us particularly during our most difficult economic period and the CARICOM family and the Governments rallied behind Dominica in support both in financial and technical aspects.

“And without the support of CARICOM Member States, Dominica would not have been able to achieve the level of growth that we are now seeing in our country and we would not have been able to get out of the financial situation which confronted us some years ago. And I believe that as a show of gratitude we felt it necessary to bestow upon the Caribbean Community and the Governments and peoples of the Region this very high award-the Dominica Award of Honour,” Prime Minister Skerritt is quoted by the Dominica Government Information Service as saying..

In the throes of a severe economic and fiscal crisis in 2002, the Government of Dominica requested financial assistance from the regional and international donor communities to address its short-term financing requirements.

In addition to concessionary financing from a number of agencies and institutions in the region, a number of CARICOM Governments came to Dominica’s aid at a very critical time. They are: Government of Trinidad & Tobago, EC$10 million; Government of Barbados,EC$13.5 million; Government of Grenada, EC$2.7million; Government of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, EC$2.4 million; Government of Bahamas, US$1.5 million; Government of Belize, EC$2.7 million

The only other recipient of the Dominica Award of Honour for 2006 is Mr. Franklyn Baron, who is Dominica’s first Chief Minister.