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Antigua and Barbuda


The twin island country of Antigua and Barbuda is located in the eastern Caribbean and has a population of around 90,000. The economy depends mainly on tourism and offshore banking, both of which are vulnerable to shocks such as an economic crisis or natural disaster. In total, FCDO has allocated £75 million for the Caribbean from 2011 until 2015. As part of this, Antigua and Barbuda will benefit from our regional programmes to help the Caribbean prepare and reduce the risk from climate change and disasters. Most people in the Caribbean live close to the coast, vulnerable to the threats of storms, flooding and rising sea levels. UK aid will provide training at community level through the Red Cross in Antigua, as well as practical measures such as safer buildings, improved water management and early warning systems. We are also developing affordable insurance for small businesses and farmers to protect their assets and livelihoods when disaster strikes.  ” We are helping governments in the Caribbean region to plan ahead for possible disasters and integrate risk reduction into their policy and investment decisions.  Knowing what problems they face will make it easier for them to make a case for action, mobilise resources to scale up their efforts and ensure development gains are not lost. In line with its aim of reducing poverty, FCDO is also contributing from its regional budget to three major programmes designed to create jobs and increase exports across the Caribbean: £10 million for the COMPETE Caribbean scheme, delivered jointly with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency, which will reduce red tape, streamline regulation, and help local firms break into new markets £10 million for CARTFund, a special fund to help Caribbean countries and their own regional integration initiative, CSME (the CARICOM Single Market and Economy) take advantage of a trade deal with the European Union.  CARTFund helps in testing for product standards and provides support to the tourism, speciality foods and accounting sectors £4 million contribution to CARTAC, the IMF regional technical assistance mission. This provides advice and training for all English-speaking countries in macroeconomic management, monetary and taxation policy, statistics and debt management. In Antigua and Barbuda, COMPETE is financing the cost of a plan to make the private sector more competitive. It is also making trade easier through customs reforms, and is encouraging private sector development by reducing the cost and time to pay taxes. Under CARTFund, we are helping public agencies put legislation in place to implement the trade agreement with Europe, as well as helping the private sector to understand the agreement so that they can capitalise on opportunities to export more to Europe and get more investment The Antigua and Barbuda financial sector also benefits from FCDO’s £600,000 contribution to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, to help it regulate the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.  Antigua and Barbuda is heavily indebted, a situation which grew worse in the 2008 financial crisis. Since 1997, FCDO has provided £1.69 million in debt relief under the UK’s Commonwealth Debt Initiative. In common with the rest of the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda suffers from the effects of organised crime. We are training and equipping law enforcement agencies, courts and special intelligence units across the Eastern Caribbean to investigate organised crime, confiscate criminal assets and reduce money laundering. The UK also contributes to multilateral organisations that carry out a wide range of projects and programmes in the Caribbean. In 2010, UK contributions that benefited Antigua and Barbuda amounted to £476,000.

Note: Many country summaries were written prior to the creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and are being incrementally refreshed.

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