Published On: Fri, Nov 14th, 2014

Caribbean has received over one billion Yen in assistance from Japan

Close up Japanese Yen banknotes on white background.TOKYO, Japan – Japan has provided more than JPY1.7 billion (One Yen=US$0.008 cents) to 14 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries since 1975, according to figures released here on Wednesday.

Jamaica has been the biggest beneficiary of the Japanese aid, accumulating a total of JPY639.15 for the period 1977-2013.

According to the figures released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here, Jamaica would have received loans totalling JPY534.21 million, grants JPY16.98 million and technical cooperation to the tune ofJPY87.96 million.

The French-speaking Caribbean island of Haiti was the second biggest recipient of aid from Tokyo, receiving JPY446.39 million for the period 1979 to 2013.

Port Au Prince received most of the funds, JPY419.41 million in grants and JPY26.98 million in technical assistance.

Japan’s aid to Guyana totalled JPY155.49 million for the period 1974-2013, with JPY140.57 million in grants and JPY14.92 million in technical assistance.

Within the seven-member sub-regional Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), St. Lucia received the the biggest slice of aid from Tokyo with Castries benefitting from JPY63.37 million in grants and JPY 27.81 million in technical assistance during the period 1983-2013.

Dominica St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda received funds totalling JPY81.04 million, JPY64.32 million and JPY59.93 million respectively, with Roseau getting JPY65.62 million in grants and JPY15.42 million in technical assistance with Kingstown benefitting from JPY48.58 million in grants and JPY15.74 million in technical assistance.

Tokyo’s assistance to St. John’s was in the form of JPY52.05 million in grants and J{Y7.88 million in technical assistance.

Grenada received JPY66.05 million in aid during the period 1977-2013, with JPY54.68 million coming in the way of grants.

The Dutch speaking Caribbean country of Suriname received JPY56.78 million with JPY49.62 million in grants and JPY7.16 million in technical assistance.

Oil rich Trinidad and Tobago received JPY30.99 million in aid from Japan with the Asian country providing JPY1.1 million in grants and the remainder in technical cooperation.

The figures show that the Bahamas received the least amount of aid from Jpan, totalling a mere JPY0.52 million, with most of that figure, JPY0.46 million coming through technical assistance.

Barbados and St. Kitts-Nevis also received assistance from Tokyo with Bridgetown getting JPY12.83 million and BasseterreJPY29.51 million.

The figures were released here ahead of the weekend meeting of CARICOM foreign affairs ministers and their Japanese counterpart.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials say that the meeting on November 15 will also allow for bilateral talks to take place Tokyo which has already acknowledged that many Caribbean countries are no longer eligible for concessionary having been graduated to middle income status.

But the regional countries were told that Japan would not be turning its back on those countries and is in fact revising its Official Development Assistance (ODA) Charter to allow it to provide the assistance.

“After we devise a new charter we will be able to continue with some assistance,” said Kaname Araki, the senior coordinator, Aid Policy and Management Division.

He told reporters that the charter would be put out for public comment and hopefully by Deceber would be approved.

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