World Bank official visits Dominica for post-Maria talks

Roosevelt Skerrit, left, and Jorge Familiar.
Last updated: November 1, 2017 at 11:41 am

Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has met with World Bank Vice President Jorge Familiar met to discuss the island’s needs following devastation brought by Hurricane Maria.

The tiny nation was hit by the full force of the category five storm on 18 September.

Familiar reaffirmed his deepest solidarity and support to the people of Dominica.

“In the face of a disaster such as the one faced by Dominica, where every small town, every street, every person has been affected, recovery requires support from all partners for reconstruction and resilience,” he said.

“I commended Prime Minister Skerrit for his vision of making Dominica the first climate resilient nation in the world and assured the Prime Minister that Dominica can count on our full support in turning this tragic event into an opportunity to build back stronger and plan for a more sustainable future”.

The visit followed a high-level Caribbean roundtable in Washington on 13 October 13.

According to a government spokesman, the visit “signals the World Bank’s continued commitment to fast track assistance to Dominica in building back better and more resilient in the wake of Hurricane Maria”.

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A World Bank team was deployed to Dominica, working to assist the government in assessing the damage and start planning the reconstruction.

Damage leaves of costs over $1 BILLION

As part of the Hurricane response, the World Bank is preparing a financial package of over US$100 million.

The funding will provide immediate support to farmers, rebuild resilient public infrastructure, strengthen resilience, and help create financial buffers.

Preliminary results from the rapid damage and loss assessment – jointly conducted with the World Bank, the UN, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the European Union – estimate that Hurricane Maria brought damage and losses of over 200% of annual GDP.

This is equivalent to approximately US$1.3 billion.

Public infrastructure, electricity and telecom networks, housing and agriculture sectors suffered the biggest damages.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Skerrit requested support for providing small grants to farmers and small businesses impacted by the Hurricane.

In response, World Bank Vice President confirmed the immediate availability of US$10 million to help support small farmers rebuild their livelihoods.

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