Government of Montserrat

PREMIER & FS ATTENDING SPECIAL DEVELOPMENT FUND MEETING AT THE CDB

GIU Davy Hill, Montserrat (Friday, December 13 2019) – The Premier, Honourable Easton Taylor-Farrell, along with the acting Financial Secretary, Mr Philip Chambers, are currently in Barbados to attend the first Preparatory Meeting of Contributors of the Special Development Fund (SDF) at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
 

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the replenishment of the Fund, which supports the next cycle of BNTF programmes across the qualified countries for the period 2021-24.
 

The Honourable Premier and the Financial Secretary (ag) will be meeting with various high level officials within the CDB including the President, Dr Warren Smith, to discuss Montserrat’s continued need to access funds under the BNTF programme.
 

Honourable Premier Farrell is a staunch advocate of the work that the BNTF carries out on Montserrat. He believes that despite what the economic statistics (GDP per capita) may say about the economic classification of Montserrat, that it does not reflect the true socio-economic situation for all residents. He holds the firm belief that the BNTF programme touches the lives of individuals and communities in a way that other aid programmes do not.
 

This meeting is the first of a series of meetings that will decide the resource envelope of the SDF and the countries that qualify to access various levels of funding. The meetings are being convened today Friday 13th December.
 

UN DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME REPRESENTATIVE VISITS MONTSERRAT

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Mr. Magdy Martinez-Soliman arrived on Montserrat today (Wednesday December 11) for a country visit, and to present his credentials to the Premier, Honourable Joseph Easton Taylor-Farrell.
 

UNDP Resident Representative in Barbados and the (OECS, Mr. Magdy Martinez-Soliman presenting Premier Taylor-Farrell with a gift.


 
This is Mr. Martinez-Soliman’s first visit to Montserrat since he assumed his duties on June 1, 2019. He presented his credentials to Honourable Taylor-Farrell at the Office of the Premier, shortly after he arrived on island.
 

The presentation of credentials is a diplomatic practice in which a formal letter with the credentials of an ambassador or head of an organisation to a country, is presented to the leader of the receiving country. Until credentials are accepted, diplomats cannot begin their duties for that country.
 

During his three-day visit here, Mr. Martinez-Soliman will also meet with His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Andrew Pearce OBE; Deputy Governor, Honourable Mrs. Lyndell Simpson; Government Ministers, Parliamentary Secretary, Leader and Members of the Opposition, Private Sector representatives and Civil Society Organisations.
Premier Farrell felt that it was very important for the UNDP Resident Representative to not only meet with his government but also a broader representation of stakeholders to include the wider Public Service, Private Sector and Civil Society.
 

Mr. Martinez-Soliman’s visit also includes an island tour to tourist and historical sites, where he will have an appreciation for Montserrat’s history, culture and heritage. The tour stops will include Plymouth, the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) and Richmond Hill among others.
 

Mr. Martinez-Soliman has held different positions at the UN and UNDP Headquarters in New York, served as UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten (2018); was appointed UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Mexico (2007-2012) by SG Ban Ki-moon; was named the first Executive Director of the United Nations Democracy Fund (2006-2007) by SG Kofi Annan; and served as senior UN Official in Senegal and Bangladesh.

11 HIV CASES ON MONTSERRAT BEING ADEQUATELY MANAGED

Persons living with HIV on Montserrat are managing their conditions well, accessing treatment and living full lives.
 

This was disclosed by the Health Promotion Coordinator in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Mrs. Penny Maloney as she provided an update on Montserrat’s current HIV status, and highlighted upcoming activities to promote safe sex practices. Her comments were made as Montserrat joins the observance of World AIDS Day on December 1st.
 

Although the Ministry of Health has no record of anyone living with AIDS on the island, Mrs. Maloney said there are 11 recorded HIV positive cases here; 2 of which are new cases recorded in 2018.

 
If left untreated, HIV can progress to AIDS. Mrs. Maloney therefore emphasised that it is important for persons to access care and be treated. She further noted that the HIV positive persons here “are living happy, healthy and productive lives, are accessing treatment and are doing really well.”

 
While the focus of World AIDS Day is on HIV/AIDS, Mrs. Maloney also noted that there are other sexually transmitted diseases/infections which are observed here by the Ministry of Health. These include gonorrhoea, syphilis and hepatitis, among others.

 
She pointed out that STIs are sometimes more prevalent around peak periods of the year, such as festival periods. The Health Promotion Coordinator explained that this may be due to the level of alcohol consumption during those times, which can impact on the decision making process. “So you’ll find around very prominent festivals, like St. Patrick’s and our December Festival, that a few weeks later we’ll start to see a couple more cases than normal…so we do have to pay extra attention at this point in time,” stated Mrs. Maloney.

 
She said the Ministry ensures that revellers and party goers have access to condoms by delivering packages to event organisers and promoters, and stocking bars in the festival locations.

 
However, Mrs. Maloney said even with all of these efforts to increase access to condoms, the responsibility to actually use the condoms, rest with the individuals.

 
The Ministry will be engaging in heightened awareness activities in the coming days and weeks. The theme for this year’s observance of World AIDS Day is ‘Communities make the difference’.

 

FIRST SUPPLIER ENGAGEMENT FORUM TO BE HOSTED BY GOVERNMENT IN DECEMBER

The Procurement Department within the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management will host the first Government of Montserrat’s ‘Supplier Engagement Forum’ in December.
 

The forum will be conducted on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre from 1:00p.m. to 3:00p.m. The aim of the forum is to provide information on current and future projects in the Government of Montserrat, and the new procurement regulations which came into force on September 1, 2019.
 

Head of Procurement, Harjinder Jutle explained that these engagement forums are standard and best practice, and are necessary to ensure suppliers understand how to bid on government projects. “It is something that the Ministry wanted to do for a while, we need to know about people’s ability to bid for opportunities and improve the processes to support the bidding process. If we want to make sure that suppliers can respond to services we require, then we need to have a continuous dialogue with them,” expressed Ms. Jutle.
 

She further noted that it is an opportune time to begin the regular engagement process, since the new regulations are now in place. The Head of Procurement added, “We want to make sure we can support local suppliers to go through a simple quote process, which has been introduced in the new regulations, and which will fast track the process, instead of filling out a large document as was the case for previous tender forms.”
 

The supplier engagement forums will be conducted on a monthly basis going into different communities and will be conducted at different times.
 

Interested individuals and organisations are invited to attend the first forum on Thursday December 5 and to engage in open and honest discussions with the team about how to work together in this regard.

 

PREMIER HONOURABLE EASTON TAYLOR-FARRELL COMMENTS ON LONDON BRIDGE ATTACK

Premier Taylor-Farrell

The Premier, Honourable Easton Taylor Farrell and his Ministers have joined together to show solidarity and support to the people of the the United Kingdom, particularly Montserratians living in London, following a terrorism incident at London Bridge today.
 

A number of people were stabbed and a man has been shot dead by police in the attack.

 

A number of Montserratians work in the area or otherwise use it as a commuting hub.
 

There are no reports of any Montserratian affected in today’s events.
 

Premier Taylor-Farrell along with the other Ministers have described the reports from London bridge as ‘shocking’ and have expressed their concern and sympathy for those affected.
 

“Our thoughts and concerns are with the many Montserratians that reside in London, and those at home whose family and friends travel in and around London Bridge”, stated Premier Taylor-Farrell.
 

PREPARATIONS BEING FINALISED FOR THE 29th CONSECUTIVE HOSTING OF NATIONAL TREE PLANTING DAY

Preparations are nearing completion for the hosting of National Tree Planting Day 2019, which is scheduled for Wednesday December 4, 2019.
 

The plant nursery of the Department of Environment has spent the past few months propagating over 1,000 plants, spread over 16 varieties (14 fruit trees and 2 Ornamental plants), for distribution to the public. The plants will be made available to the public at a cost of $10.00 for 3 plants.
 

Some of the varieties available include: Five finger, Moringa, Spice guava, Soursop and Ylang Ylang.
 

An additional 7 plant varieties will also be available but not as part of the 3 plants for $10 package. These include pineapple, grafted mango and some citrus varieties.
 

The distribution of plants will begin at 7:00 a.m. at the Ministry compound in Brades. Residents are reminded to take a cardboard box with them, which will be used to safely transport their plants.
 

National Tree Planting Day is organised and hosted by the Department of Environment to promote the establishment of green spaces in communities. This would result in erosion control, beautification, improved nutrition and food security.
 

View the full poster below:
 

 

 

BNTF CONTRACTS SIGNED WITH 3 LOCAL CONTRACTORS FOR ROAD REHABILITATION WORKS

GIU Davy Hill, Montserrat (Friday, November 22, 2019) – The Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), under the portfolio of the Office of the Premier, today signed contracts with three local contractors to rehabilitate sections of road at Mars Hill and Cavalla Hill.
 

The contracts, which are collectively valued at EC$910,000.00 were awarded to Quanjo Equipment, Payne and Payne Enterprise Ltd and QRG Auto Services. The contracts were signed by Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier and BNTF Chairperson, Mrs. Daphne Cassell, on Behalf of the Government of Montserrat.
 

The BNTF said following today’s signing, work is expected to commence on these projects in the week beginning Monday November 25, 2019. It is expected that these two projects would be completed early in the first quarter of 2020.
 

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is providing 95 % of the Funding for these projects, and Government of Montserrat 5%. Funding provided by CDB to Montserrat are grant funds made available through their Special Development Funds (SDF9). These two sub-project will conclude the BNTF 9 programme in Montserrat.
 

BNTF is one of the longest running regional poverty reduction programs in the Caribbean, and stands out in the global development arena for its community-driven approach, tailored for the Caribbean context. The programme stretches across the Region, providing basic infrastructure and improving the livelihoods of beneficiaries in the ten (10) Borrowing Member Countries of the Caribbean Development Bank.

 

COMMUNICATIONS MINISTRY PLANS ACTIVITIES FOR ICT WEEK

Activities aimed at encouraging members of the public to use information communication technologies (ICT) to their benefit, will be rolled out on Montserrat from November 25 to 29.
 

The Ministry of Communications, Works, Energy & Labour has planned a week of activities under the theme ‘Leveraging Technology in a Digital World’. ICT Coordinator in the Ministry, Loni Howe, said, “The activities will target various audiences in the community and they are all centered on reinforcing the theme, which encourages persons to take advantage of the power of technology.”
 

She added, “At the end of the sessions participants should have the basic skills needed to promote themselves or businesses on social media, or even create an ICT based business.”
 
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Premier Easton Taylor Farrell announces ministerial appointments for new government

Ruling Administration


 

The newly elected Premier of Montserrat, Hon. Easton Taylor Farrell, who was sworn-in to office on 19 November after leading his Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) to victory at the polls a day earlier, has announced his Cabinet and assigned portfolios for members of his government.
 

Hon. Taylor Farrell will be responsible for Finance, Economic Development, Trade, Tourism and Culture.
 
Hon. Samuel Joseph is the Deputy Premier and will assume responsibilities for Communication and Works, and Labour.
 
Hon. Charles T Kirnon is the Minister of Education, Health, Community Services, Sports, Youth, and Ecclesiastic Affairs.
 
Hon. Crenston Buffonge is the Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Housing, and the Environment.
 
Hon. Veronica Dorsette-Hector will serve as Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility for Health, Community Services, Youth, and Sports.
 

Premier Taylor Farrell said in assigning the portfolios, consideration was given to how to best utlilise the skills of members of his government. “I am confident in the abilities of the members of my government, in whom the electorate have given a mandate to improve the fortunes of Montserrat and lead us on a path to prosperity,” he said.
 

“The people of Montserrat can rest assured that I will lead a government of integrity that upholds the tenets of good governance. We will get to work immediately to deliver on our promises to the people.”
 

The Movement for Change and Prosperity won five of the nine seats in Montserrat’s Legislative Assembly on 18 November 2019. The swearing-in of the new government will take place on Friday November 22 at 10:00a.m.

 

Honourable Easton Taylor-Farrell Sworn In As Premier of Montserrat

Hon. Easton Taylor-Farrell taking his oath as Premier

 
The Honourable Easton Taylor Farrell was sworn in as Montserrat’s 3rd Premier during a swearing-in ceremony held at the Governor’s Office on Tuesday November 19, 2019.

 

The ceremony was conducted by Her Excellency, Governor (Acting) Lyndell Simpson in the presence of the Attorney General, Honourable Sheree Jemmotte-Rodney.

 

Ministerial appointments will be announced later this week.