On Thursday, March 26th, JICA/JOCV Saint Lucia welcomed Mr. Takamitsu Furumoto to our Caribbean shores. Mr. Furumoto is the first regional volunteer to be dispatched under the new JICA/JOCV Saint Lucia office, now responsible for volunteer matters in St. Vincent, Saint Lucia and the Commonwealth of Dominica.
Unlike previous volunteers, Mr. Furumoto is not dispatched to Saint Lucia but to St. Vincent where he will work as a Community Development volunteer in the fisheries sector.
Japan and St. Vincent – indeed Japan and the CARICOM region – have an extensive history of fisheries co-operation. Since 1993, CARICOM countries have been recipients of Japanese aid in the area of sustainable marine development, making Japan a major contributor of developmental assistance in the Caribbean.
As an example, St. Vincent and the Grenadines recently received Grant Aid assistance of US$8.5 million for industrial projects and for projects to improve fisheries equipment. In addition to giving Grant Aid, Japan also assists at the grassroots level by stimulating the human resources of the country.