Mr. Speaker,

      The increasing cost of food is having an impact on our neighbour Haiti, a very important country to The Bahamas. We have been in touch with the Haitian authorities. I spoke with them while we were in Trinidad. I’ve been on to the Secretary General of Caricom as Chairman of Caricom. We are in discussion with President Rene Preval with respect to advancing Haiti a certain sum of money from the fund over which Caricom has control.

      The World Bank has made available some monies. The Haitian authorities are of the view that they are able to contain and ensure that order prevails.

      A meeting of the Caribbean Action Task Force which is scheduled to be held in Haiti has been proposed to be held in The Bahamas instead. The Haitian authorities are of the view that there is sufficient tranquillity for the meeting to be held in Haiti.

      We will, during the course of the day, seek to determine whether or not The Bahamas ought to seek to accommodate the meeting, or whether The Bahamas ought to support Haiti in the meeting continuing to be held there.

      In the meantime, other measures are being taken by the Government to protect the interest of The Bahamas.