Dominica on Thursday morning signed a US$65-million loan agreement with the World Bank for projects to help build a climate resilient island in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
The projects will include Emergency Agricultural Livelihood and Housing Recovery.
Of that sum, US$25-million will go towards agriculture and US$40-million towards housing.
Under the housing program, up to 1,700 families will receive subsidies for rebuilding houses. An estimated 4,900 farmers and fishers will receive support under the agriculture program to help restore livelihood and to introduce and adopt climate resilient practices
Minister in the Ministry of Housing, Johnson Drigo said, the signing ceremony was a “tangible demonstration” of rebuilding Dominica after the passage of the monster hurricane last September.
“It is a solid indication that we are well on our way of recovering and rebuilding our beloved country,” he said.
He stated that the government has made the bold decision of building Dominica back better and stronger after the storm.
“We shall embrace the opportunity and gigantic challenge changing this adversity brought onto this land and make Dominica the number one climate resilient country of the world,” he stated.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture, Reginald Austrie, told the ceremony that housing and agriculture are two sectors the government wants to pay close attention to after Hurricane Maria.
“And I really like to thank the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance for their vision in coming forward with those two projects but more so to thank the World Bank for buying into the idea, for buying into the vision and put their resources, both human and financial resources at the disposal of the government that we can be here today signing this two very, very important agreement,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, told World Bank officials at the ceremony that the government will spend the funds wisely and properly in accordance with the rules of the bank.
“We give you that assurance,” he stated. “And as your rule requires, you will come to Dominica from time to time to have an audit done independent of ourselves and every single page of every single book shall be opened to you for scrutiny and we give you that public commitment.”