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The UNFPA Country Office in Barbados has the responsibility for providing support to the member and associated-member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). For the purposes of targeting the priority concerns of these countries and UNFPA and also to keep within UNFPA mandate and capabilities in terms of availability of expertise and funds, countries are selected from among the nine (9) OECS countries to work with closely in mutually agreed areas. In the absence of an Assistant Representative at the Barbados CO, the Deputy Director for the Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean has identified a backstopping support mission, necessary to ensure continuity in the implementation of the annual work plan.

This mission will be carried out by Dr Mario Aguilar, Techincal Advisor – Reproductive Health and Ms Sandra Paredez, Technical Officer – Censuses from April 24 – 30, 2012. Both officers will commence their mission in St Lucia with meetings with the Secretariat of the OCES and the Ministry of Health. These meetings will seek not only to establish focal points but also to determine scopes of work.

Dr Aguilar will then continue on to Barbados to meet with the Barbados Council for the Disabled, the Ministry of Health, the Barbados Community College – School of Nursing and the University of the West Indies with an aim to plan the activities of the work plan with the respective implementing partners.

It is expected that once this exploratory mission has concluded, a more detailed plan will be formulated which will then drive the commencement of activities of the Annual Work Plan for the Barbados Country office.