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Government, several others beg funds online

A screenshot of the government’s BVI Recovery Fund website

By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Journalist

Since the British Virgin Islands (BVI) was pounded by Hurricane Irma, a number of individuals and organizations such as Government have taken to the World Wide Web with outstretched palms seeking financial donations.

The most recent count showed that some 10 relief funds were created for the BVI.

The National Democratic Party government, through the BVI Tourist Board, tops the list with its BVI Recovery Fund. Each donor is not allowed to give less that US$5.

“All funds raised will go towards rebuilding the territory after the storm’s devastation, and helping the people who have lost everything due to the destruction of Hurricane Irma,” the government said. Persons can donate to that fund via Pledgeling.

Billionaire Sir Richard Branson also created a fund in collaboration with Virgin Limited Edition and Unite BVI.

“They will be working with local organisations to identify the ongoing needs of affected individuals and communities, including the families of those employees affected by this disaster,” Sir Richard said, adding that donations can be made by visiting his Virgin website.

Individual funds also have been created for the three main sister islands – Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, which critics claimed are being neglected.

Funds created for Virgin Gorda are the Virgin Relief Supply Fund, and Virgin Gorda & Bitter End Yacht Club Staff.

There is also the Jost Van Dyke Humanitarian Aid fund, as well as the Regatta Reach Out Recovery Fund for both Jost Van Dyke and Anegada. “We are asking everyone who has visited these islands to donate and help them recover and rebuild. Any donation that you can spare – no mater how large or small – is greatly appreciated,” said organizers of the Regatta Reach Out Recovery Fund, Chris Hopkins and the Regatta Crew.

Non-profit organisation, Virgin Islands Search And Rescue (VISAR), is also among the groups seeking funding. VISAR said it will use its government contacts to ensure donations go to persons who are ‘most in need’.

“Whilst our boats are not yet in the water, what we can do is help coordinate fundraising efforts to support the work being done on the ground by the emergency team running out of Peebles Hospital. All funds raised will go directly to helping the people of the BVI recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma,” it said.

The other funds created include Convoy of Hope Hurricane Irma Response, the Legal Aid for BVI fund, and the British Virgin Islands Medical Supplies fund.

Hurricane Irma damaged and destroyed several private and public properties on September 6. It also claimed the lives of four persons.

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