Govt. working on recovery project


POND ISLAND–Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin said Wednesday that in anticipation of the first tranche from the Dutch Recovery Trust Fund, the World Bank and the ministries are working hard on the final damage and loss assessment and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).


The NRRP is in its final stages and has been sent to the Council of Ministers, Parliament and stakeholders for vetting. Once completed, it will be sent to the Plan steering committee for the final decision on all future projects to be funded by the Trust Fund, Marlin-Romeo said.

With the support of the World Bank and the Netherlands, government has identified a number of emergency projects to start as soon as the first tranche of funds is disbursed. These first projects aim to address the most urgent needs of residents and to prepare the country for the peak of the annual hurricane season.

The first emergency projects are expected to start in June.

Romeo-Marin said in the Council of Ministers press briefing that project preparation, especially World Bank internal procedures, takes much more time than the Council of Ministers has anticipated. “Please note: 470 million euros is a lot of money and this government must ensure that every cent is accounted for,” she said.

Civil servants and a World Bank team are working to finalise project preparations to ensure the grant agreements can be signed between the World Bank and government as soon as possible.

The three major emergency projects are emergency repairs, disaster preparedness and public utilities with a budget of US $55 million. This will include repair to police stations, fire station, and shelters, urgent school repairs, new location and equipment for the Meteorological Department, 500 roofs to be repaired for vulnerable groups, new ambulances, emergency communication equipment, emergency repairs of electricity and trenching lines, water storage tanks and repair streetlights.

A second project provides income support and targeted skills trainings to under- or unemployed people in different sectors. This project has a budget of about $19 million. This will cover the existing hospitality training programme with 700 participants and the emergency project will open up to other sectors to expand to 2,600 participants.

The third project focuses on debris removal and assistance with solid waste management, which has a budget of about $15 million. It includes a cash-for-work programme, clearance and management of hurricane debris at the so-called “baby dump,” removal of shipwrecks, assistance with preventing new fires at the dumps and assistance with a plan for sustainable solid waste management of the main dump.

Government is working on the legal requirements to establish a Recovery Bureau, advertising for staff, the financial management provisions and procurement procedures to ensure the start of the projects.

Source: The Daily Herald