PM berates UN officials for “taking all the credit” in Barbuda

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PM with UN Secretary General during a visit to Barbuda last year

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has berated United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) officials on the ground in Barbuda, accusing the organization of “opportunism”.

Browne has also poured scorn on charitable organizations which have been working on Barbuda since the island was decimated by Hurricane Irma in September last year.

During a visit to the hurricane-ravaged island on Friday, Browne told the UNDP officials to remove stickers they had placed on a number of homes.

The stickers, which displayed two logos, – one for the UNDP and one for the Government of China – were placed to indicate that the roof of the house was repaired with material from the UNDP procurement project funded by the People’s Republic of China.

Browne first noticed the stickers while touring the homes for which repairs had been completed.

“You can’t come and take credit for all the work that my Government did,” he told the UNDP officials. “It’s unacceptable. When we do all the work and then you come and put big signs on there as though you did everything, that is what is happening. You got to stop it. You can’t come and give few sheets of plywood and then go and take all the credit. You have to stop it.”

Browne, who instructed that the stickers be removed, again raised the issue during the official handover ceremony where officials of the Governments of Antigua and Barbuda, China and the UNDP were present.

 “So you cannot now offer a few sheets of plywood and then put a UNDP sticker on the building to suggest that it was done by the UNDP. That is opportunism. And I have directed that every single sticker on this building be taken down. I’m not trying to be controversial. But we do not want a situation whereby the domestic population gets the impression that the government is not making any contribution and that everything is coming from abroad,” he said.

“And by the way, the UNDP is our employee. We employ them to do this. They’re not doing it for free. The people who we are to be grateful to are the donors – the Indian Government, the Chinese Government,” Browne added.

The Prime Minister then called out charities on the ground in Barbuda, some of which he said are doing nothing.

“And I want to tell you, other than seeing a few tarpaulins and some small generators, we have not really seen the value of their work. And I want to say to them if they don’t have any further value it’s time to leave. And whereas we accept assistance from all, when you come you must bring value,” Browne said.

“Don’t utilize the plight of the Barbudans to raise funds internationally to support your own objectives while Barbudans are given a token assistance. We will not tolerate that type of behavior. And I say to all those charitable organizations, if you do not have significant value to bring to this country then you ought to leave,” Browne added. – Caribbean News Service

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25 COMMENTS

  1. We barbudans are grateful for the tarpulins, tents and generators etc. We certainly see their value even if the prime minister does not. We are thankful for all of the assistance given to us by the various agencies and donor countries.
    Perhaps the prime minster can help with:
    1. Restoring electricity to the homes that are connected
    2.Repairing/building the schools using the money he said is allocated for that.
    3. Providing a banking system or even service where the bank goes in the morning and goes back at night…even twice a week.
    4. Completing work on the small airport terminal including the bldng….beed I add more?

    There is so much to do, need we quibble over stickers? Really!!!

      • Did the Barbudans ask to be here? No so tell Gaston give them what belongs to them and leave them with the land. Greed will be his downfall. He trying to block everything to have them return home. But time will tell.

        • So y is it when they were asked to return to clean up they refused
          They had to be literary be given notice to leave hotels and forced out of the stadium to the point where the grounds staff of the stadium refuse to work because of them fighting with them give a a frigging break 3/4 of them ain’t going back

          • So it’s ok for mr Browne to force everyone off the island and it’s ok for him to sell our sand and our land but then he wants to take credit for what? Really what has he done for the kids whose school is still not usable. He’s a disgrace to black men I’m still waiting for a reply from my last post about how he has been but obviously he is to cowardly to really talk to the people

      • The tax dollars belong to barbudans as much as antiguans. One nation one country. We share the same passport. Stop being ignorant.

        • If they wanted to go the state of emergency had been lifted months ago all them asses are doing are staying here and lime

        • Then is it safe to say the land in Barbuda should also belong to antiguans? One nation one country one passport.

  2. “Take you sh*% hole stickers and leave Barbuda. All you donated was a few sheets of plywood. It’s not like you donated a Tesla X!” LOL! (the comedy version of what Gaston said)
    Our PM really needs to take a few courses in diplomacy to understand how business is done. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. If the PM doesn’t check himself he will not be able to close any reputable deals, only deals like YIDA. People with real money just won’t have time for this type of attitude. He has a lot to learn!

  3. We did want to be a part of you anyway…Antigua wanted Barbuda. The last time I checked rhis was not your country..

  4. Unbelievable and embarrassing. The Barbudan’s are grateful for the assistance to get back into their homes. Thank you to all who have assistance them.

  5. Gaston has not said anyting wrong all of you small minded people who casting assertion are politicizing the moment you all need to stop it and give support to pm brown see the man as a leader give him the respect he deserved gaston is very selfish when it pertain to the government and the people of Antigua and Barbuda i say 3 chears to the man

  6. Let’s be real. Luckily we have a government working to ensure people homes are fixed although they do not have insurance(the people). Gaston right!. Charity in Barbuda can’t have so much money and just contribute a little and stop. When these Barbudans were in Antigua living like kings and Queens did they care if the Government pockets were depreciating? The answer is NO. Stop being bias to the situation because now the Government working there asses to get the work Don you lashing at the Prime Minister. Please note every repair done in Barbuda for Barbudans is free

  7. Wow, these comments are so disheartening. Can you imagine that our Prime minister who is looking out for the other half of our nation (Barbuda) and all some people can do is sit down and criticize everything he those. Lemme see, so why is it fair for UNDP to claim all the credit for the work being done. Its like sometimes like if Gaston says the sky is blue and WE ALL CLEARLY SEE ITS BLUE…and set of idiots will argue til their throat hurts to say its pink!!!….Come on yall ridiculous now.

    Y’all didn’t want to come here where di donkey behind y’all wanted to go….hell gooooo who stoping y’all…oh wait you want us to buy the tickets too?

  8. Y’all sickening now. You Barbudians to damn ungreatful. The PM evcauted y’all fro the danger from 2 other hurricanes when Irma destroyed Barbuda and this is the thanks Antigua gets.
    Y’all run to international media saying the PM wants land. Not even thanks for the millions spent to maintain them from since September.

  9. Gaston Browne is driving a wedge between the people of Antigua and Barbuda. Look at some of your comments, and we are supposed to be one country? This is a man of division, not unity, who seems to have picked up his diplomatic skills in a dustbin.

  10. The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda is an arrogant, egotistical,
    Narcissist. He just flap his tongue without using his brain.

    • The PM is not driving no wedge between Antigua and Barbuda. This old 1800 be about land is what is driving the wedge. Brabuda was destroyed and now its residence got a taste of good life in Antigua and refuses to go clean up and rebuild tap purge aru conisious. Aru know ah de truth. This is just some political game for people who are desperate to get back into power no matter what

  11. reading these comments are soooooooo….
    i know they say ungratefulness worst than witchcraft
    these people from barbuda reminds me of the children from egypt
    when mosess allowed to cross the red sea after the salvery from pharoh
    these people complain saying they should leave them in egypt to suffer

    now that gaston brown bought yourll to antigua
    feeding yourll three square meal for a day
    still paying yourll from the council
    leaving in hotel drinking champayne

    all yourll worry about is some stupid land
    begrateful god allow yourll to survive the hurrricane
    yourll have no insurance / no land deed
    cannot get even get loans

    yourll want the man to build back yourll home
    please give me a break

    do u see donald trump building back nnody housed in puerto rico
    st.thomas they have to do it them selves

    most countries like tortola domimica st.marteen puerto rico eletricity has not been restored

    yourl barbudan sickenin

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