LatinNews Daily - 07 July 2023

In brief: US shores up ties with Guyana

* US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali in Guyana’s capital Georgetown where the two discussed a range of bilateral issues including food and energy security, decarbonisation, climate resilience, forests, Atlantic cooperation, regional migration, and building local capacity. Following the meeting, Blinken announced that the US government would launch a new food security programme in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean region, designed in collaboration with Caribbean governments, with US$5.3m in food security assistance. He also announced other efforts by the US to boost energy security and transition, noting that the US Export-Import Bank is working closely with the Guyanese government on a major gas-to-energy project that aims to cut emissions by 50%. Blinken arrived in Guyana after visiting Trinidad & Tobago where he attended a Caribbean Community (Caricom) heads of government meeting and met with Trinidad & Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley where similar issues were discussed. His meeting is in line with the US’s declared efforts to re-engage with the Caribbean, no doubt mindful of China’s growing presence there. It follows a visit last month to The Bahamas by US Vice President Kamala Harris who also met Caribbean leaders and highlighted over US$100m, including US$98m in new funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), to address climate, energy, food security, and humanitarian assistance in the Caribbean.

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