OECS Chairman Wants Regional Governments to Make Structural Changes to Receive Foreign Aid

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) chairman and Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell says Caribbean governments need to make structural and behavioural changes to their operations if they want to continue receiving assistance from friendly countries.

He was speaking on the margins of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) high level regional meeting in St. Kitts. It was attended by IMF officials, Central Bank governors from across the region, and ministers of finance.

“Look some of the embassies that we have abroad, (we are like) like little mini states, not sharing diplomatic relations together as small states, and wanting people to give you aid while you are spending in those areas. It does not make sense,” Mitchell told journalists.

“We have to understand that people would not give us help if we continue this way. Britain has one embassy in Barbados for the entire Eastern Caribbean and they have billions of pounds but each of us, little mini states, has an embassy in the most costly place in the world. So that’s the sort of thing I am talking about.”

Mitchell pointed to the importance of the citizenship by investment programme as an innovative way for the country to help itself. He says the programme in Grenada is now an improved one and lessons have been learnt.

“You have to look at all sorts of innovative ways to raise resources to meet the challenges that you face and the citizenship programme also is an area,” the prime minister said.