Antigua and Barbuda at risk of losing UK Commonwealth funding

Antigua and Barbuda along with several other Caribbean countries may be at risk of losing UK Commonwealth funding, a programme which allows the Commonwealth Secretariat to provide technical assistance to Commonwealth countries.

In a new UK government report issued in December, it warns that the Commonwealth Secretariat is failing in its role to deliver taxpayer-funded aid and could lose funding.

The report states that while the Commonwealth Secretariat has worked to sharpen its strategic focus and reduce the number of projects it manages, its commitment to delivering better value for money has not been demonstrated.

The Secretariat, headed by Dominica-born Baroness Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary General, was among the worst rated in a review of overseas aid organizations by the Department for International Development (DFID).

The report also called for urgent organizational reform of the Commonwealth Secretariat, stating that its performance needs to improve in areas such as transparency and budget discipline.

This comes after Prime Minister Gaston Browne referred to Baroness Scotland’s ‘misspending’ a regional shame.

In an email issued in early November, PM Browne referred to media reports pointing to wastage in finance by the Commonwealth Secretary General as an embarrassment for the Caribbean

Browne said instead of bringing benefits to the Caribbean, she brought shame.

News Reporter

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