FAO helping to rebuild after floods
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has provided a US$320 000 grant to help in the rehabilitation of the agricultural sector following the devastation caused by the last Christmas Eve floods that left an estimated EC$8.4 million in damages and at least 12 people dead.
FAA’s regional co-ordinator for the Caribbean, Dr J. R. Deep Ford, said that the agency hopes for the rehabilitation and rebuilding of livelihoods, damaged and undermined by the weather.
“But very importantly, we also want to rehabilitate and rebuild the resilience that must be there for the next event. It is very critical that while we focus on probably close to 1 000 farmers [and] inputs, we look at the poultry sector, we look at the pig sector (and) we are also importantly focusing on the forested areas of the country,” he said.
Ford said that the FAO was looking at additional contributions to St Vincent after the extreme weather and has approached some of its bilateral and collaborating agencies. He said that in addition to the grant, the FAO was working with the forestry department to strengthen that agency and build resilience.
Agriculture Minister Saboto Caesar said that the funds would be “available for the most vulnerable, for the most susceptible”.
Caesar said that the Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture have each pledged US$20 000 to the agriculture sector, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is soliciting help from friendly governments.