Government is to benefit from a project valued at 2 million euros ($2,227,520) which is geared towards resilience-building in the BVI.
The sum follows a financing agreement between the European Union and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) which, according to acting Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s office Elvia Smith-Maduro, was finalized during the 17th OCTA Ministerial Conference held in Tahiti, French Polynesia in late February.
She revealed that talks prior to the agreement began early 2018 following the onslaught of hurricanes Irma and Maria.
“The EU has expressed a keen interest in supporting the upgrade of emergency shelters with the SMART standards and techniques used by the Pan American Health Organisation.
“It is expected that their support will come in the form of detailed inspections, retrofitting of critical components of the structures with an emphasis on water and energy-conservation and ensuring that the buildings are able to function during times of emergencies or disaster” Smith-Maduro said.
A media release from the Office of the Premier detailed the purpose of the two-year programme which will be headed by the PAHO.
It said the
Smith-Maduro, in the meantime, also revealed that PAHO along with local government has already been putting measures in place to get the project started.
“They will work closely with the Ministry of Health and Social Development and the Department of Disaster Management to obtain the necessary information to complete the initial assessments. It is expected that at least 10 emergency shelters will be upgraded and additional funding available through the Ministry of Health and Social Development to complete emergency repairs to these facilities will complement the pot of funds available to allow the emergency shelters to meet the international standards” Smith-Maduro said.
This comes as good news for the government in a number of ways as it coincides with some of their existing plans for 2019, including their recent submission of a Readiness Plan to the National Disaster Management Council of which repairing emergency shelters was a critical part.
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