6 July, 2020
On Monday, 6 June 2020, the European Caucus of Antigua and Barbuda Ambassadors and Honorary Consuls donated computers, office equipment, and care packages to the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (RPFAB) and a laptop to support a young individual with critical special needs.
The donations to the RPFAB consist of twenty (20) Hewlett Packard (HP) desktop computers, twenty (20) Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) devices, two (2) office printers, and approximately one thousand (1000) care packages containing health and wellness and hygiene items for distribution. These donations aim to assist the RPFAB with their plans and objectives to digitalise administrative and other operations while providing tangible support during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Honourable E.P. Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration, and Trade together with Andrew Doumith, ACT Business Development Manager and Debbie Collins, Ministerial Assistant formally handed over the donations to Atlee Rodney, Commissioner of the RPFAB at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration, and Trade.
Minister Greene noted that these are challenging times for law enforcement, especially having to fight a deadly enemy invisible to the naked eye while trying to maintain law and order across society. For this and more, Minister Greene conveyed, the donations are an expression of commendation and appreciation to a most hardworking and dedicated Police Force. The Minister commended the High Commission in London for spearheading the initiative to source the items locally instead of importing, which benefits local businesses and the economy. He also thanked Debbie Collins and Charity Volunteer, Joy-Ann Harrigan for their coordination efforts. In accepting the donations, the Commissioner of Police expressed his gratitude to the Caucus for the timely donations and his desire for continued support.
The Caucus also recognises the need for the continued support for young individuals with special needs, particularly at this time. In partnering with Social Care Specialist and Consultant, Koren Norton, the Caucus also donated a laptop to a youth who is at a critical developing and learning stage at the secondary school level. Moreover, the laptop will enable better access to special programming and other tools for academic and social development.
All donated items, together valued at approximately XCD$200,000, were sourced from local suppliers: Antigua Computer Technology Company Ltd (ACT); Frank B. Armstrong Distributors Ltd, Anjo Wholesale, and the Antigua Distillery Ltd.
The Caucus also continues to work in partnership with the Halo Foundation for the Needy to support the Sunshine Home for Girls, the Ex-Servicemen’s Association, the St. Vincent de Paul, and the Grace Programme under the ‘YOU CAN HELP INITIATIVE’. The Caucus meets once a month and comprises of High Commissioner, H.E. Karen-Mae Hill (Chair), United Kingdom; H.E. Ambassador Dario Item, Spain; Ambassador H.E. Jihad Georges Aoun, Greece; Honorary Consul Wolfgang Altmueller, Germany; Honorary Consul Professor Dr Ivan Todorov, Bulgaria; and Honorary Consul Julien Hansen, Russia.
The Caucus was formed in May 2020 to explore ways in which the diplomats in Europe can leverage their collective positions and networks to support the priorities of the Government. These priorities include opportunities to boost investment and trade and advocacy on areas of importance to include derisking, graduation and reform of the multilateral financial system. The Caucus also supports the work of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority in promoting the destination across Europe and aims to contribute towards the further development of the socio-economic fabric of Antigua and Barbuda.