The British Virgin Islands can expect additional assistance from the United Kingdom, which said it will set up a private sector task force to help this, and other hurricane-ravaged countries.
While speaking at the recent World Bank meeting attended by Premier Dr D Orlando Smith and other delegates, International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, said the task force will rally technical and financial support from the private sector to help with long-term reconstruction efforts.
She said the task force will give special focus to tourism, construction, insurance, and banking industries of the three UK overseas territory worst affect by the hurricanes — the BVI, Anguilla, and Turks & Caicos.
Patel said the task force will consist of a team of ‘top business leaders; either chief executive officers or chairpersons with experience in the Caribbean’.
“No small island can reasonably be expected to recover and rebuild from a catastrophic disaster that undermines their entire economy without international support.”
“They need businesses to step up. The private sector is key to reviving the region’s economies and must play a central role in the reconstruction of these islands, helping them to build back better,” she stated.
The International Development Secretary explained that the task force will be “working with the affected islands to build back better and more resilient hospitals, schools, and other public services like water and power on which people survive.”
Patel added: “We need to reduce the future potential impact on public services and livelihoods of any future disasters. Investing in preparedness makes good financial sense: each pound saves two pounds of aid.”