On Friday, 7 June at the British Library, a new initiative to support the Caribbean during their greatest time of need has been launched. The Caribbean Skills Bank, set up by Caribbean professionals Debbie Ransome and Bertram Leon, will harness the skills and expertise of people in the Diaspora, to provide support and skills for the Caribbean region, the British government and aid agencies following a natural disaster.
The project is sponsored by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and supported by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI), Wilton Park and Caribbean High Commissioners in the UK.
Diplomats and other officials joined the media at the launch for phase one of the project which will begin at the start of this year’s hurricane season.
“While many Caribbean nationals rise to the challenge of assisting their respective Islands following disasters, such as those which affected the Islands of Haiti in 2010 and more recently Dominica in 2017, there are no central database which collates details of the skills and expertise of the millions of Caribbean nationals living in the Diaspora,”
the FCO Director for the Americas, Hugo Shorter, told the launch.
Chairman, Bertram Lion, went on to say, he hoped to make Caribbean Skills Bank an excellent opportunity for the Diaspora to gain valuable exposure within the region, while also supporting an important initiative.
“The support of those interested in Caribbean development could only add to the empowerment of our Diaspora communities, to recognise their potential and to realise that necessity,”
Caribbean Skills Bank will form a vital resource for all Island in the unfortunate situation of a disaster.