EU providing hurricane-relief funds to Dominica

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File photo: The eye of the hurricane passed directly over Dominica (AFP)

ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — Dominica is to receive EC$24.7 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) from the European Union representing the first tranche of a EC$34 million package towards the reconstruction of the country following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria last year.

“This contribution from the European Union will assist us with the ongoing rehabilitation of communities throughout Dominica as we seek to reconstruct in a climate resilient way,” Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said.

“It will also ensure that the most vulnerable of the population are catered to as the process of rebuilding their lives is painstakingly undertaken from day to day.”

The EU said that the grant will support the construction of two emergency shelters in the Castle Bruce and Jimmit areas and the rehabilitation of 1000 houses in various affected communities.

It said the reconstruction will be carried out exclusively according to the Building Back Better approach and to the highest resilience standards.

“Dominica has been under hard trial during the last few years, but it is encouraging to see the mobilisation and the commitment of all Dominicans to rebuild the country as a truly resilient nation.

“As a European citizen I am proud that we stand together with the Dominican people and other members of the international community in this important endeavour”, said Daniela Tramacere., the EU Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, OECS and CARIFORUM.

The grant will also support the Dominica Government in its revision of sector policies to include climate change adaptation practices and to reduce disaster risks while facing extreme weather events, in line with the island’s new National Resilient Development Strategy.

This is the second post disaster reconstruction grant Dominica will receive from the EU in three years, in addition to ECHO Humanitarian aid, following the EC$28 million provided for the rehabilitation of the water and energy infrastructure after Tropical Storm Erika in 2015.

The latest funding comes in addition to the bilateral cooperation between the European Union and Dominica, which supports two key sectors of the island’s economy, namely agriculture and renewable energy.

Under renewable energy the country has been allocated EC$8.3 million, while the agriculture sector has been benefiting from the EC$48 million Banana Accompanying Measures programme.

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