THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
POLICE FORCE IN JAMAICA TO TRAIN ONLY NEW RECRUITS WHO HAVE BEEN VACCINATED
According to Dennis Brooks, the senior communications strategist of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the police will train only the new recruits who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The JCF decided to take this action after consulting with legal and medical authorities to prevent “continuous disruption.” It is believed the best option is to train vaccinated recruits until Jamaica reaches herd immunity as it is the nature of police training to be in close proximity to others in learning and training situations. The JCF had to pause training as a precaution due to a small outbreak of coronavirus, which resulted in a delayed start due to the quarantine period required.
JAMAICAN HOUSING MINISTRY READIES FIRST NATIONAL ADAPTATION PLAN
The Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change is developing the first-ever National Adaptation Plan (NAP) for Jamaica. According to Pearnel Charles, Jr., Portfolio Minister, Jamaica will have access in the current fiscal year to a grant totaling $US1.1 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to begin preparations for the plan. The NAP will feature a strategy to engage the private sector in fighting climate change, as well as a financing strategy, and an investment plan for adaptation. Charles said it was “imperative” that the country act quickly to become climate resilient. Without action, climate change could become a major obstacle for Jamaican in its attempt to reach development goals.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
TRINIDADIAN PHYSICIAN HIGHLIGHTS CRISIS IN CARIBBEAN HEALTH
According to Dr. Farzanna Haffizulla, who is from Trinidad and Tobago and serves as the chair of the internal medicine department at the Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine of Nova Southeastern University, there is a crisis involving the health of Caribbean people. To address the issue, the doctor developed the Caribbean Diaspora Healthy Nutrition Outreach Project. The goal of the project is to prevent common diseases like high blood pressure, cancer, and heart conditions. Dr. Haffizulla has long believed that her Caribbean community has been left out of health guidelines and policy making. Nutritional advice rarely considers tropical fruits like papayas and guavas when making suggestions for healthy eating. Additionally, the lack of education among Caribbean people means that 80 percent of deaths in their communities are linked to noncommunicable diseases like diabetes. Because race and ethnicity categories do not consider the multi-racial and multi-ethnic backgrounds of people in the Caribbean, such disparities remain hidden from health policy.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN DIASPORA ADVISED TO INVEST IN JAMAICA BY NATION’S PRIME MINISTER
Individuals in the Jamaican Diaspora have been advised to take advantage of the investment opportunities available in Jamaica by Prime Minister Andrew Holness. He made his remarks in an address to the virtual Diaspora Conference in which he noted that the island’s tourism sector had lost billions of dollars as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Holness noted that as foreign exchange inflows from tourists decreased, remittances from the Jamaican Diaspora had become even more valuable. He also said that in addition to sending the remittances, the Diaspora has continued to promote trade, create businesses, and encourage entrepreneurism on the island. However, more must be done, Holness added, as the Diaspora has not reached its full potential in regard to investments.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA RECORDS NEARLY 1 MILLION VISITORS SINCE REOPENING TOURISM SECTOR
Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, announced that Jamaica’s tourist sector has welcomed nearly 1 million visitors since reopening the nation to tourists in June of 2020. Since June 14, 202, 816,632 tourists have visited Jamaica, with 62 percent of them arriving in the country since January of 2021. Additionally, 50,000 workers have been called back to their jobs, and US$1.132 billion has been earned since the June 2020 reopening. According to Bartlett, the main reasons for the successful reopening include Jamaica’s overall 0.6 percent COVID-19 infection/positivity rate in its Resilient Corridor. This has been called “the most outstanding social bubble anywhere in the world.” The Corridor includes the coastline from Negril to Port Antonio and from Milk River to Negril. Only those businesses within the Corridor that have received training and been assessed for their adherence to coronavirus protocols have been permitted to open to tourism.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT SEEKS GLOBAL RECOGNITION OF INTERNATIONAL REGGAE DAY
Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, announced that the government wants worldwide recognition of International Reggae Day, which will be held on July 1, 2021. Grange said a request has been sent to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to make an official proclamation of the day around the world. Plans are ongoing for the International Reggae Day concert to be hosted by the government and held at the Port Royal Cruise Terminal in East Kingston. The concert is meant to set and example for promoters and organizers who want to have large-scale events while following required health protocols. Grange says the government expects between 300 and 350 attendees.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICAN OLYMPIC ICON VERONICA CAMPBELL BROWN TO RETIRE
Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell Brown, one of the nation’s most honored and decorated athletes, has announced her retirement. The legendary sprint champion who is known as VCB made her announced on social media on June 23, 2021. She posted an emotional message to fans, writing, “Through the grace of God, I have climbed from a small town in Trelawny, Jamaica up the ladder of success to become one of the most decorated women in the Olympic Games and World Championships history.” She added, “As I take off my spikes never to put them on again, this girl from Clarks Town walks away happy and contented with a race well run.” Her announcement came one day before the beginning of the national trials of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA). Campbell Brown plans to focus on parenting and her charity and entrepreneurial ventures, which include the VCB Foundation.