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Wednesday, 07 February 2018 07:24

IDB, CDB partner to support recovery efforts in hurricane-hit islands Featured

Monica La Bennett (CDB) Juan Carlos De la Hoz Vinas (IDB)

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) have signed an agreement to provide grants of US$200,000 each to two member countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) that were severely affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Antigua & Barbuda and the Commonwealth of Dominica were among the countries that sustained the highest relative losses and damage from Category 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria, respectively, during the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season – recognized as one of the most active on record. An estimated 89% of the buildings in Barbuda were damaged or destroyed, while essential services and all utilities were rendered inoperative by Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017, prompting an evacuation of all residents to the sister island of Antigua. In Dominica, where Hurricane Maria made landfall on September 18, 2017, there was significant loss of life amidst extensive flooding, a breakdown in utility services, and widespread structural damage.

The US$400,000 being released by the IDB will be used to support recovery and reconstruction efforts in Antigua & Barbuda and Dominica, as well as for the displaced population. The CDB will facilitate the disbursement of the grant funding to the two OECS countries.

IDB Country Representative for Barbados, Mr. Juan Carlos De la Hoz Vinas, and Ms. Monica La Bennett, CDB Vice-President (Operations), signed the agreement on Friday, February 2, 2018 at the CDB’s headquarters in Barbados. It falls within the framework of the two development institutions’ ongoing partnership, which currently includes two active loans, with another in the pipeline.

Mr. De la Hoz Vinas, said: “Recovering from a devastating natural disaster can take years, with support needed in the short, medium and long term. The Inter-American Development Bank assists reconstruction efforts in Latin American and Caribbean countries through a variety of financial instruments and we are pleased that, through our partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank, we are able to carry out our mission of improving lives in Eastern Caribbean countries.”

“The signing of these agreements builds on CDB’s ongoing partnership with IDB to work collaboratively to address our borrowing member countries’ development challenges. We welcome this contribution by the IDB to support the ongoing reconstruction activities in Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica, and the role it will have in assisting these countries on the path to recovery,” said Ms. La Bennett.

The ongoing partnership between the IDB and the CDB, established since 1977, was strengthened in February 2017 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in which both institutions reaffirmed their commitment to collaborating to promote sustainable economic development in the region.

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