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A VIEW BEYOND THE HORIZON

VISION PRIORITY SECTORS & SUB-SECTORS Cohesive & Empowered Society

Vibrant & Innovative Economy

Resilient Infrastructure

Nurtured & Sustainable Environment

Good Governance

Human & Social Services

Business & Economy

Infrastructure

Natural Resources & Climate Change

Governance

• Health Services • Waste & Debris Management • Social Protection • Housing • Education • Pride & Cultural Identity

• SMEs • Financial Services • Tourism • Agriculture

• Electricity • Roads • Water • Sewerage • Seaports • Airports • Buildings Physycal Planning & Land Development • ICT • Telecommunications

• Environment • Renewable Energy

• Public Service • Law & Order and National Security • Disaster Management

of the inputs into the recovery plans dictated the need to plan beyond short-term recovery and to look to develop the Territory into a more sustainable and resilient state in the longer term. The Recovery to Development Plan’s vision, therefore foresees that “the BVI will be a model for building stronger, smarter, greener and better, fostering a vibrant and innovative economy, cohesive and empowered society, nurtured and sustainable environment, resilient infrastructure, good governance and a high quality of life for all.” The vision is expected to be delivered through numerous projects, initiatives, and programmes; each of which correlate to various sectors and sub-sectors that have been identified as critical for the recovery and development of the Territory. INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR DELIVERING RECOVERY

Given the extensive damage caused by the disasters to the Territory, across all sectors, the Government from the outset recognised the need to have a collaborative approach to the recovery and development of the Territory, delivered through a robust institutional framework. In October 2017, the Cabinet appointed the Disaster Recovery Coordinating Committee (DRCC) to coordinate government’s recovery planning and implementation efforts; including drawing up plans, and assisting with the establishment of the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA). In April 2018, the House of Assembly established the RDA through the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018 to assist with implementing the RDP and to bring additional resources (technical expertise and funding) to help deliver the recovery in a transparent and efficient manner. The RDA has

been in operation since August 2018 and works closely with Ministries and other stakeholders in implementing priority projects assigned to it by the Government. The Government is leading the implementation of the Recovery to Development Plan through the Premier’s Office as lead Ministry, along with the other ministries and with support from the DRCC. Ministries, develop recovery policy and set the priorities for their respective sectors, as they also continue to implement recovery projects where such capacities exist. Implementation is also being strongly supported by the private sector, donors and charities and development partners. In addition to the Act, the legal and institutional framework is to be supported with regulations governing the RDA regarding its relationship with Government, capacity building obligations and procurement procedures, all of which, among other things, will ensure a BVI-led recovery that benefits the Territory. It is also supported by the use of a Recovery Trust which has been established to serve as the independent structure for the receiving and disbursing recovery monies. FUNDING THE RECOVERY

The best laid plans for any recovery to development, cannot be implemented without significant and sustained financing. In fact, it is one of the greatest impediments to countries’ redevelopment after natural disasters. It is also a specific and unique problem to small Island nations like BVI, with little financial negotiating prowess and who are “too rich” to receive any significant amount of international aid or donor funding. Thus far, there has been four main sources of funding for recovery. These are borrowed funds, local funds allocated in the budget, insurance proceeds and donated monies.

Borrowed funds for the recovery are Caribbean Development Bank’s Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Loan of $65 million, which is being used to execute a number of priority infrastructure projects; Immediate Response Loan of $2.5 million; and in part, CDB’s policy based loan of $50 million, which has primarily provided budgetary support. A number of government assets including the central administration complex received insurance proceeds, in the amount of approximately $41 million. Local funding has been committed to a number of projects; most notably $10 million has been seeded to the Recovery Trust Fund to implement early recovery projects across a number of sectors. There has been relatively strong support from the donor community, local and international, and the UK, particularly with the early response and humanitarian needs. In addition, various projects in the social sector mainly schools received significant funding for their rebuild from local donors. RECOVERY PROGRESS IN FOCUS

Eighteen months later, the BVI continues along the long and arduous journey of recovery. Although at times not fully appreciated by the residents whose lives have been considerably impacted, remarkable progress has been made across the spectrum of sectors. Viewing the Islands through lens on September 7, 2017 an objective lens of today, depicts a world of progress and renaissance. HUMAN AND SOCIAL SERVICES SECTOR

Schools Given the significant impacts on schools, with many completely destroyed or best case heavily damaged, it is laudable that 10 of the 14 primary schools have been rehabilitated, and three are in the process of being rebuilt, one of which is being totally reconstructed with private sector funding. Although remarkable progress was made by resuming classes in an alternative location within 6 weeks of the decimation of the Elmore Stoutt High School campus, (ESHS) limited progress has been made to rebuild the school’s campus. However, after considerable planning, contracts have been inked to repair the L-shaped building, a portion of the campus, for Fall 2019 school term. The

Bregado Flax secondary school in Virgin Gorda is being rehabilitated using Government and private sector funding. The Territory’s special needs learning centre is also expected to be totally rebuilt by December 2020. Rebuilding the ESHS campus with greater resiliency, incorporating green energy, enhanced technology, improved curriculum and other supporting campus services is expected to cost in the range of $30 million. This underscores the point that in order for students to be re-housed in an improved environment conducive to better, smarter, and safer learning, substantial financial resources will be necessary. Housing Significant damage to the housing stock occurred as a result of the hurricanes, with an estimated $572 million dollars in damage. Housing has seen a continuum of initiatives beginning with immediate response efforts focused on ensuring that displaced households and the most vulnerable of the population had access to adequate shelter and basic necessities at emergency and temporary shelters. This was further buttressed by home repairs with the assistance of UK, private organisations and NGOs targeting other vulnerable households. The key housing recovery programme, is Government’s own Housing Recovery Assistance Programme (HRAP) which consists of a combination of grants, loans and social housing assistance for the repair or reconstruction of damaged homes and rental properties for homeowners who qualify. The anticipated cost of the programme is approximately $40 million of which $15 million has already been made available by the Government. Thus far, the Ministry of Health and Welfare has received over 580 applications for varying levels of support and already more than 100 applicants have been approved and have received funding. The impact of the storms on housing has not only revealed physical vulnerability, but also financial vulnerability of its occupants. In this vein, BVI’s new paradigm as it relates to housing has already led to more resilient building practices and dictated the need for revised building standards. Equally important, it has also highlighted the need for adequate property insurance, new affordable insurance products and greater consumer protection and market regulation for banks and insurance companies.

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Profile for Business BVI

Business BVI July 2019  

The theme for the July 2019 edition is ‘A View Beyond the Horizon’, which is intended to reflect where the territory is post 2017, while at...

Business BVI July 2019  

The theme for the July 2019 edition is ‘A View Beyond the Horizon’, which is intended to reflect where the territory is post 2017, while at...

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