The United States Agency for International Development Mission to the Eastern and Southern Caribbean (USAID/ESC), headquartered in Bridgetown, Barbados, formally launched its satellite office in Trinidad and Tobago this week at the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain. The new office is part of USAID/ESC’s regional office expansion to strengthen partnerships and programming at the local level.
USAID’s programming in Trinidad and Tobago will focus on financing for sustainable development, building resilience in areas such as adaptation to climate change and food security, and empowering youth through citizen security and education, to advance a safe, prosperous, and resilient Eastern Caribbean region.
The Honorable Pennelope Beckles-Robinson, M.P., Minister of Planning and Development, joined USAID/ESC Regional Representative Clinton D. White and U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Shante Moore on September 6 in a ribbon cutting ceremony at the U.S. Embassy to mark the establishment of the USAID office.
To celebrate the opening, USAID hosted a reception for national stakeholders and development partners at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on September 7. Senator the Honorable Dr. Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs welcomed USAID’s enhanced presence on the ground. Minister Browne stated, “USAID forms a critical part of the foreign policy of the United States, and is mandated to administer foreign aid and development funding to certain countries. The United States viewed the establishment of a USAID office in Trinidad and Tobago as an opportunity to strengthen the bilateral strategic partnership between our two countries, as well as provide a regional base to service the wider Caribbean. Not only will Trinidad and Tobago benefit from a more formidable presence of the USAID, so too will our neighbors in the Caribbean.”
Mr. White said, “Establishing an office in Trinidad will improve our working relationship with the government, partners, and other stakeholders, which will make for better programming.” Mr. White said that this is an important step in achieving USAID/ESC’s goal to promote “a safe, prosperous, and resilient Caribbean region that supports its vulnerable populations, withstands external shocks, and promotes accountable institutions, economic development, and private sector-led growth.”
Mr. Moore said, “Establishing the USAID presence as part of the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain brings to fruition a long process we undertook several years ago. USAID’s contributions in Trinidad and Tobago will bring additional resources, skills, and expertise to the U.S. presence in Trinidad and Tobago. It is further tangible evidence of our strong and enduring partnership and excellent relationship between the people and government of Trinidad and Tobago, and the people and government of the United States of America.”
USAID/ESC manages programs in 11 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago.