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Friday, January 14, 2011

Funds approved for St Vincent hurricane recovery

WASHINGTON, United States, Friday January 13, 2011 – The World Bank has approved a US$5 million zero-interest credit to help St Vincent and the Grenadines rehabilitate key infrastructure damaged by the passage of Hurricane Tomas last year.

World Bank Director for the Caribbean, Françoise Clottes, said a critical component of this project is its focus on improving the government’s capacity to analyze risk to enable better integration of measures to reduce hazard risk in national and sectoral development plans.

Hurricane Tomas swept over the Eastern Caribbean region on October 30, 2010, causing extensive damage in St Vincent and the Grenadines estimated at between five and 10 percent of the country’s GDP.

The hurricane damaged over 1,200 private homes, as well as public buildings and infrastructure, roads and power systems. Three public schools and five community centers were badly damaged.

The Hurricane Tomas Emergency Recovery Project will finance the costs associated with restoring infrastructure in the transportation, education, and public sectors, and strengthen the country’s capacity to manage disaster risk.

Specifically, the project will finance:
* Rehabilitation of vulnerable and damaged infrastructure, including damaged schools, community centres and transportation infrastructure.

* Institutional strengthening and hazard and risk analysis. This component will improve the capacity within the Ministry of Housing, Informal Human Settlements, Lands and Surveys and Physical Planning and the National Emergency Management Organization to work with geo-referenced information in order to evaluate natural hazard and climate change risks.

The US$5 million zero-interest credit from the Bank’s International Development Association is repayable in 35 years, including a 10-year grace period.

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