British International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has announced a £12-million package for Dominica in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
She accompanied His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales during a visit to the British Virgin Islands and Dominica over the weekend where she thanked British humanitarian heroes and the military for working tirelessly on the relief efforts on the worst-hit islands.
“We can be proud that in their time of crisis the UK stepped up to provide the vital immediate relief that was fundamental in getting these islands back on their feet,” she said during the visit. “The UK aid mission was huge, covering small islands stretching more than 1,000 miles apart, where buildings, airports and infrastructure had been razed to the ground. I want to pay tribute to the governments of the Overseas Territories, our humanitarian staff and to the military effort, which has been absolutely essential in delivering relief.”
She stated that Britain will continue to stand by those affected by the storm.
“Now as we move on from the immediate response phase, on to the long-term future of the islands, Britain will continue to stand by people whose lives were devastated. We are also talking to the international private sector who can support the reconstruction efforts to make sure the islands can build back, and better,” Morduant said.
The support package, which brings the total UK contribution to £92-million, will include £10-million to help Dominica to rebuild critical infrastructure damaged during the hurricanes, a release from the UK High Commission said.
In Dominica 97% of the water system was destroyed. This is one example of where UK funding could help rebuild so Dominica is better able to withstand future natural disasters.
The UK contribution to Dominica also includes an additional £2-millioni for early recovery, building on the £5-million committed in September, which will support:
• Repairs to homes and roofs, through the International Organization for Migration, to provide hundreds of households with urgent shelter;
• Debris clearance through the UN Development Programme and the National Employment Programme to help establish healthy and safe living conditions in communities, to enable agricultural land to be put to use once again, and to support restoration of economic activity and livelihoods;
• Cash assistance through the World Food Programme, helping those worst affected to meet their needs flexibly and to revitalise the local economy.