Head of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr Warren Smith. (FILE)
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THE BARBADOS-BASED Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Monday announced support for its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) affected by Hurricane Irma as well as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), which is coordinating the region’s response to the affected states.
The Bank is in the process said it is providing US$200 000 in emergency relief grants to each of the islands, namely Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The CDB said that the funds will assist with costs associated with damage assessments and the provision and transportation of emergency relief supplies, water and sanitation resources, roofing materials for emergency shelters and community buildings, and temporary shelter for displaced persons.
In addition, CDB has offered Immediate Response loans of up to US$750 000 to the affected countries. The loans, available on highly concessionary terms, are designed to support the clearing and cleaning of areas damaged by Hurricane Irma, and the emergency restoration of services.
The region’s premier financial institution said that in anticipation of Hurricane Irma’s arrival in the Caribbean, it had approved a fast-tracked grant of US$150 000 to CDEMA to assist with preparations for mobilising and coordinating disaster relief.
“We reaffirm our support for our BMCs affected by this devastating hurricane. We very much regret the loss of life and infrastructure, and pledge to help the Governments and people of the impacted countries recover and rebuild in any way we possibly can,” said CDB president Dr Warren Smith.
The CDB said that countries affected by the storm that has been blamed for at least 24 deaths and millions of dollars in damages, are also eligible to receive Rehabilitation and Reconstruction loans, which it said ‘helps governments with their recovery efforts, to rehabilitate social and economic infrastructure, and restore key economic sectors to better than pre-disaster operating levels”.
“The loans also assist in reducing countries’ vulnerability to future disasters. As countries work on assessing the damage caused by Irma, CDB is also engaging development partners in discussions and planning for additional recovery and rehabilitation support.”
The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, a segregated portfolio company and CDB partner, announced last week that it would make payouts of US$15.6 million on their tropical cyclone policies to the Governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, and St Kitts and Nevis. (CMC)