CDB launches US$65.5M rehabilitation, reconstruction project in the British Virgin Islands

“It is time to get our livelihoods back on track. It is time for us to get on with the several projects and initiatives that are identified for each ministry in the loan agreement. And, it is time to weather proof our infrastructure and rebuild it in a way that offers some resiliency to unprecedented weather patterns.” – BVI Premier, Dr. Orlando Smith
April 12, 2018, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has launched a Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Project in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), which will assist the country in recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irma. The Project, which was launched on April 10, 2018, will be funded through a US$65.3M loan and a US$300,000 grant.

Speaking at the launch, Diana Wilson Patrick, General Counsel, CDB, noted that the Project is a further extension of CDB’s efforts to help BVI recover from the impact of the extreme weather event. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the Bank provided an Emergency Relief Grant of US$200,000, and Immediate Response Loans totalling US$2.25 mn.

It was with a sense of some pride that the management and staff of the Caribbean Development Bank were able to work with our counterparts in the Government of the Virgin Islands to have financing towards the proposed rehabilitation and reconstruction activities approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors on December 14, 2017. This was a mere three months after Hurricane Irma caused the loss of four lives and an estimated US$3.6 billion in damage to homes, schools, infrastructure, public administration and defence and several other sectors; disrupting the lives of the country’s men, women, boys and girls.”

(more…)

WMO Hurricane Committee reviews devastating 2017 season

The World Meteorological Organization’s Hurricane Committee meets from 9 to 13 April to review the devastating 2017 Atlantic hurricane season and to discuss regional coordination and operational planning to protect lives and property in the forthcoming one.

The extremely active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was one of the most destructive on record. Damage costs exceeded 250 billion dollars in the United States alone, whilst recovery for the worst hit Caribbean islands such as Dominica may take years. Several hundred people died, and the lives of millions were impacted.

Accurate forecasts and warnings about wind, storm surge and flooding hazards and coordination between meteorological services and disaster management helped prevent the casualty toll from being even higher. Longstanding cooperation within WMO’s Regional Association for North America, Central America and the Caribbean (RAIV) meant that sophisticated forecast products and impact assessments were available to the whole region.

For the first time on record, three category 4 hurricanes made landfall in the U.S. (Harvey, Irma and Maria), and six category 5 landfalls occurred across the Caribbean basin from Irma and Maria.

Read more at: World Meteorological Office

CARICOM needs very concessional financing for climate resilience – Secretary-General LaRocque

The Caribbean Community’s goal of creating a climate resilient Region requires significant grant funding and very concessional financing, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said Monday.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Twenty-Ninth Inter-sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government at the Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel in Haiti, he said “without access to such financing, already high debt levels across the Region would be exacerbated.”

He explained that most CARICOM countries were categorised as middle or high-income and were largely ineligible for concessional development financing and Official Development Assistance (ODA), due to the use of GDP per capita as the principal criterion.

See more photos here
(more…)

Regional tourism hits 30m

The Caribbean Tourism Office recently released its Caribbean Tourism Performance Report 2017 and Outlook, showing that the number of stay-over or tourist visits to the region reached 30 million in 2017 and bringing an estimated $37 billion in total visitor spending.

Ryan Skeete, director of research and IT at the organisation, presented the findings February 15, 2018, at CTO Headquarters, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados.

Read more at: The Bahamas Investor

Japan funding to help women in Guyana, Dominica deal with disasters

The Government of Japan is contributing US$5 million to help rural women in Guyana and Dominica, particularly those engaged in agriculture, withstand the effects of climate change.

At the Ministry of Finance Thursday afternoon, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan signed the project documents with the United Nations Development Programme for the Japan-funded project.

A portion of the US$5 million project will be used in Guyana over the next three years. It is intended to help poor farmers, especially women, to withstand the negative impacts of climate change.

“As such, the project will focus, primarily, on women, whom, perhaps, are the most vulnerable section of the population that is exposed during droughts, floods, hurricanes and other severe weather conditions.

Read more at: News Room