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OECS Continues Stakeholder Meetings in Saint Lucia for UBEC Matching Grants Programme

OECS Continues Stakeholder Meetings in Saint Lucia for UBEC Matching Grants Programme

OECS Media Release

March 13, 2024 — The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), in collaboration with the World Bank, is taking decisive steps to harness the vast potential of the blue economy in the Caribbean region. Recognising that the marine space of the OECS is 85 times larger than its land space, the OECS Commission has embarked on the Unleashing the Blue Economy (UBEC) Project, aimed at maximising the benefits of this abundant resource.

From March 6-9, 2024, the OECS-UBEC Project team concluded a workshop and site visits to businesses in Saint Lucia. This was the second of such visits to the three beneficiaries of the UBEC Project, namely Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These workshops and visits are part of the first phase of the UBEC Matching Grant Programme (MGP). This initiative is a vital component of the UBEC Project, which aims to support micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and communities engaged in various sectors of the blue economy, including tourism, fisheries, and waste management.

The Matching Grant Programme serves as a crucial financing mechanism, providing grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 USD for individual firms and $100,000 to $200,000 USD for value chain groups. This financial support, amounting to a total of $4.5 million USD, will be disbursed to 75 grantees across the primary beneficiary Member States.

Notably, the UBEC Project emphasizes gender inclusivity, with a mandate that 70% of grantees must be MSMEs owned, operated, and/or managed by females. This strategic approach underscores the project's commitment to empowering women and promoting their active participation in the blue economy.

Successful applicants must meet specific criteria, including legal registration, operational experience of at least two years, and a demonstrated commitment to growth, job creation, and innovation. The UBEC Project aims to foster sustainable development while addressing environmental challenges and improving livelihoods across the region.

During a site visit to Greening the Caribbean, a Waste Management Facility in Saint Lucia, Wayne Neil, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, expressed his enthusiasm for the UBEC Project's objectives. He stated:

"UBEC is one of those programs that's moving in the direction of sustainable living, so I’m looking forward to seeing some really substantial changes take place with UBEC here in Saint Lucia and throughout the entire region.”

The OECS-World Bank partnership is poised to drive transformative change in the Caribbean, leveraging the blue economy to create opportunities for economic growth, environmental stewardship, and gender equality.

The partnership between the OECS and the World Bank signifies a commitment to driving transformative change in the Caribbean. By harnessing the power of the blue economy, the project aims not only to address immediate environmental challenges but also to lay the groundwork for long-term sustainable development and improved livelihoods across the region.

Download or view UBEC Brochure for more information. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

Danny Moonie Communications / Knowledge Management Specialist, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States






Ocean Governance and Fisheries
About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Saint Lucia