FAO in Jamaica, Bahamas and Belize

End of Year Message from the FAO Representative

Crispim Moreira- End of Year Message

Greetings to you all from the FAO Representation for Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize.

As we come to the end of 2019, we gaze back on the achievements and challenges of the year and the strong spirit of collaboration and coordination demonstrated by you the Government, fellow development agencies, academia, the private sector, civil society, fishers, farmers and all other stakeholders. As we share the major highlights for this half of 2019, we recognize the huge role that you have played in ensuring the delivery of our service in the region and we are truly grateful for your commitment and continuous support.

In July 2019, I assumed the position of FAO Representative and over the year, our Representation has continued to grow with the addition of several new team members. This has allowed us to increase and intensify our efforts to promote food and nutrition security, enhance climate resilience, facilitate more sustainable and inclusive trade and value chains and help to develop more enabling policy, legal and institutional arrangements.

While we have worked fervently in this regard, there have been setbacks. The passing of Hurricane Dorian still remains at the forefront of our minds as we all joined hands to support those impacted throughout the Bahamas and its diaspora and particularly those from Abaco and Grand Bahama, who continue to experience the hardships caused by this natural disaster. We continue to keep them in our thoughts, especially at this time, and recommit ourselves to supporting the country’s development.

Amidst the challenges faced, we have seen significant achievements across our three countries. In Jamaica, we have supported the development and strengthening of value chains in the agriculture sector and improved actions towards agricultural disaster risk management. We recently received approval for the implementation of Jamaica’s Home Grown School Feeding Programme and have also initiated the process of securing funding to contribute to climate resilience of agricultural landscapes for small holder farmers in the country.

In Belize, we have made significant strides in providing training in value chain development and in the development of the school feeding programme and in July 2019, we witnessed Belize become the 20th country in the region to join the Parliamentary Front against Hunger.  

In the Bahamas, through our Sub-regional office, we continue to provide emergency assistance to victims of Hurricane Dorian including emergency assistance to fishermen. FAO also began work in strengthening the agro-ecology sector primarily geared towards small ruminants. Finally, we have advanced an assessment of the country’s school feeding programme including an exchange of experiences on the School Feeding Programme in the Dominican Republic.

Our collaboration with you throughout 2019 has allowed us many achievements, but there still remains many goals to be achieved. We look towards a promising 2020; a year which introduces the realization that only 10 years remain for us to collectively achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

So as we close the 2019 chapter of our lives, may we use the time to regroup, refocus and realign our minds with the goals at hand, so that in 2020, we will be charged with the energy and passion to strengthen our collaboration and accelerate our progress in national and regional development.

We wish you, your families and friends a safe, prosperous and joyful end of 2019 and we look forward to seeing you all in 2020- a year of greater productivity!