Dominica World Press release

Minister Hussen attends 46th CARICOM meeting and announces new funding for multiple countries in the Caribbean

Minister Hussen attends 46th CARICOM meeting and announces new funding for multiple countries in the Caribbean

February 27, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development, today concluded a 2-day trip to Guyana, where he represented Canada at the 46th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). This visit builds on the success of the Canada-CARICOM Summit, held in Ottawa from October 17 to 19, 2023, and reinforces Canada’s strategic partnership with the region. 

During this visit, Minister Hussen announced a new partnership with the Government of Guyana to contribute up to $9.5 million in support of their One Guyana Digital Skills Development Programme. This initiative will promote economic opportunities and gender equality by empowering thousands of young Guyanese with skills and training for the digital economy. Training will be provided by accredited universities, including Canadian institutions, and supports Guyana’s National Education Development Plan.

Minister Hussen also announced $120 million in funding to the Government of Guyana, which will be provided over 10 years through a policy-based loan with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). This Canada-led development loan initiative will strengthen the protection of marginalized populations by enhancing the capacity of Guyana’s Ministry of Human Services and Social Security to efficiently deliver social programs and promote gender empowerment. The loan will include a climate-resilient debt clause, which automatically defers debt payments if Guyana experiences a climate incident, natural disaster, pandemic or epidemic. The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, first announced Canada’s commitment to include this clause in all new sovereign lending in October 2023 at the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. A technical assistance facility of $4.5 million over 4 years will also accompany the sovereign loan to support implementation of activities.

Minister Hussen also met with key representatives of CARICOM and the Government of Guyana. Throughout the trip, he reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to supporting Guyana’s territorial integrity and economic and development objectives. 

Furthermore, Minister Hussen reiterated Canada’s commitment to support the Caribbean region by announcing $39.2 million in funding for 4 new international assistance projects for a number of countries, including Haiti, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname. These projects will help advance climate action, biodiversity conservation, food security, economic resilience, sustainable and inclusive governance, health, and gender equality.


“Canada and Guyana have enjoyed a close relationship built on shared values over 50 years. Together, our countries have promoted trade relations, sustainable development and gender equality across the Caribbean. Canada remains committed to supporting Guyana in its border dispute with Venezuela and to promoting security and sustainable development in Haiti. Canada will continue to work closely with CARICOM to increase the region’s resilience to climate change and support economic and social development.”

– Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development

Quick facts

  • Guyana is one of Canada’s largest merchandise trading partners in the Caribbean community.
  • The $120-million loan to Guyana will be provided over 10 years under the Sovereign Loans Program, which was announced in Budget 2018. Providing sovereign loans to eligible countries improves their ability to make important investments in poverty reduction and peace and security.
  • The announced funding will be allocated as follows:
    • $15 million will be allocated to the “Green Corridor in the Baradères-Cayemites protected area” project in Haiti, which will support climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation while contributing to food security and sustainable economic opportunities for vulnerable people. Implemented by Viridis Terra International and the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation, the project contributes to Canada’s international climate finance commitment and meets the goals of the Global Biodiversity Framework presented at COP15 in Montréal.
    • $15 million will be allocated to the “Investing in midwives, ensuring the right to access sexual health services” project in Haiti, implemented by the United Nations Population Fund, which aims to improve and save the lives of marginalized women and girls by increasing access to maternal and child healthcare, sexual and reproductive health services, and gender-based violence care.
    • $5 million will be allocated to Cuso International with the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition and the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality to promote the rights of 2SLGBTQI+ people in all their diversity and advance gender equality in Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.
    • $4.2 million will be allocated to the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism for the Sustainable Technologies for Adaptation and Resilience in Fisheries project, which aims to advance the clean energy transition in the Caribbean fisheries and aquaculture sectors. Operating in Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname, the project will promote the use of sustainable energy technologies, ensure that viable business models are developed and encourage low carbon and carbon neutral fishery certification in the region.  
  • Canada has been highly engaged with Haiti for decades to promote security, stability and democracy while also working with Haiti and the international community to advance these various priorities through vehicles such as CARICOM, the United Nations, the Organization of American States and La Francophonie.
  • In 2023, Canada approved a $2.5-million initiative with McMaster University to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes in the hinterland regions of Guyana.
  • At the October 2023 Canada-CARICOM Summit hosted by Prime Minister Trudeau in Ottawa, the Canada-CARICOM Strategic Partnership was launched. The partnership is based on a shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law, human rights, climate action and the rules-based international order and aims to advance common foreign policy, trade, security and development priorities.
  • During the summit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced over $100 million in new initiatives for the Caribbean region. The funds are allocated to projects that will support renewable energy, agriculture, security, and health and immunization systems.
  • At COP28 in 2023, Canada announced several climate initiatives totalling over $67 million to respond to the needs and priorities of developing countries. From this funding, the following contributions were allocated to the Caribbean region:
    • $250,000 in supplementary contributions was allocated to the Climate Finance Access Network, a Rocky Mountain Institute initiative that supports developing countries in securing and structuring financing for climate investments. This is in addition to Canada’s initial contribution of $5 million to build national technical capacity in the Caribbean by helping to structure applications for international climate finance funding.
    • $34.2 million was allocated to the Special Climate Change Fund, which supports the adaptation needs of small island developing states and strengthens technology transfer, innovation and private sector engagement for adaptation.
    • $16 million in seed funding was provided to build on efforts to address loss and damage in climate-vulnerable regions, including the Caribbean, following the decision to establish this fund at COP27.
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