Ambassador of the Government of Japan, His Excellency Mitsuhiko Okada, visited Saint Lucia for the official signing of two grants to Saint Lucia. The ceremony was held at the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday 23 February 2017. Ms. Janet Bernard, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Department of Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation noted in her address that the Japanese government has previously provided Saint Lucia with grants of ¥100,000 and ¥250,000. The two additional grants presented this year are “Economic and Social Development Programme (Provision of Japanese Reduction Equipment) and Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (Victoria and St. Jude Hospitals).
The hospitals are meant to receive in-house, advanced life support systems, new ambulances, and better provisions for medical staff to attend to patients daily and in the case of emergencies.
Saint Lucia’s general adaptation to climate change will also be assisted in the social and economic aspect with monies going towards drainage and bridge implementation.
Ambassador Okada noted that Japan prides itself in assisting Small Island Developing States, highlighting that Japan seeks to “further deepen cooperation between the two countries”.
Honourable Allen Chastanet, H.E. Mitsuhiko Okada, and representatives Ulric Mondesir and Jenette Hughes from St. Jude and Victoria Hospitals respectively exchanged notes to officially transfer the grants.