BVI News

USVI got billions, BVI got nothing after Irma


Yet another elected leader has scoffed at the United Kingdom’s lack of monetary support for the BVI’s mission to rebuild critical infrastructure destroyed by the three disasters of 2017.

Recently, Third District Representative Julian Fraser mentioned that while the BVI got no funding from its “colonial master” the neighbouring US Virgin Islands (USVI) received a generous amount from the US Federal government after Hurricane Irma.

Though his comments were serious, Fraser uttered them in a rather light-hearted way, as he took friendly jabs at USVI Governor Albert Bryan Jr. who attended the opening ceremony for the Fifth House of Assembly on May 18.

“You just heard our Leader of the Opposition talk about $10 million in 10 years and to you that’s pocket change, because you were telling us that the [US] federal government awarded you $10 billion after Hurricane Irma,” Fraser said jokingly to Governor Bryan. “We got nothing from our colonial masters, so we’ll be leaning on you in some way,” Fraser said as the audience laughed.

Much of the BVI’s critical infrastructure was damaged or completely destroyed after the 2017 disasters. Since then, the territory has been pushing to rebuild.

At the time, the UK declined to offer money towards this process, stating that the BVI had a thriving economy before the hurricanes and should have been able to support its own rebuilding efforts. However, the UK did offer a $400 million loan guarantee — meaning it would stand as a guarantor if the BVI wished to borrow up to that amount.

The territory has not taken up the offer to date and Governor John Rankin recently confirmed that the $400 million loan guarantee is now off the table for the BVI.

BVI residents have traditionally disliked borrowing huge amounts from international lenders. But Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley recently reaffirmed that the territory must seek loan funding to facilitate the execution of its much-needed infrastructure projects.

He said the UK has already been engaged on the issue, and said the prospect of moving outside the ratios of the BVI’s borrowing guidelines has also been broached.

The Premier also stated that the UK has been very supportive in this regard.


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  1. Really now says:

    Usvi respect Washington.. what have you ever heard the usvi speaking negative about the one in authority. Not rocket science, go figure. When Washington say jump usvi says how high. Usvi know who is in charge. Usvi have intellects. They respect mother country, they have good relationships.

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  2. They helped with the clean up says:

    They sent thousands of body bags

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  3. Sick f@#k says:

    Used the people vigil to chat f!@kery. Imagine being so bitter SMH

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  4. Really... says:

    The UK offered help, but it came with stipulations as they rightfully didn’t trust our government to spend the money correctly. Surprise surprise they were right – while we wasted millions on barges without radar when there was an anti drug warship offered. Government ministers helped themselves to aid while the people got nothing.
    During Covid while we were poor and unemployed the government wrote a new act where they got 3 yrs salary and 200k when they got voted out!!! And the UK is to blame for this ?

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  5. Jim says:

    Wait you want independence but assistance from the colonial power? Can’t have it both ways.

    Maybe ask UN next time for help.

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  6. Xi says:

    Ask the Chinese. We would love to help you.

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  7. Common sense says:

    Unlike this gentleman, the citizens of the USVI know who they are, American citizens paying US income tax and not sounding off about independence and criticizing their governmental system for which they were generously rewarded. Perhaps there is a lesson here for the uneducated, discriminatory, and, racist movement in the BVI.

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  8. YES TO UK says:

    Julian Fraser you need to shut up.

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  9. @Really says:

    Preach brother, preach. That is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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  10. On the other hand… says:

    For more than two decades, BVI GDP exceeded $ 1 billion per year, working out to $ 40k/capita/year. All that time, no one asked where all the monies were. Irma and Maria showed us…all gone, without explanation. Now the GDP for the Territory is around $ 450million, but because there are more people (prob around 35,000), now the GDP per capita is about $11.5k, almost a 400% decrease. This did not happen overnight, and is a result of chronic mismanagement and little in the way of accountability, even by the voters who keep electring the same despite plenty of press about pretty much every government project failing in terms of budget, timetable, and or functionality, by both parties.

    Basically, BVI has run itself down into the ground, and got busted to boot with by the CoI. Why would anyone want to help anyone who was warned, and later rebuffed all suggestions of help? Mr. Fraser has featured in government long enough to see this (or if he cannot, he should not be there), so his are unapologetic laments of the consequences mismanagement of governments in which he had an active role at various points.

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  11. Feed up says:

    The UK Government offered so much help but you and you sitting Govenment refused it, you were offered help by private individuals that would come in and clean up but you wanted hand outs. Sir you can’t have it both ways, USVI is not independent they are America and proud of it.

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  12. No they didnt says:

    The help they offered was a loan guarantee! Please stop with the misinformation! They offered no grants save for assistance with small projects like fixing the Road Town Police Station. It really annoys me when bloggers willfully try to mislead the masses with disinformation. Enough with the campaign of subversion! Geeez

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  13. missing the point says:

    The international community usually assists other countries when dealing with a disaster. The UK along with many other countries gave millions in grants to Dominica for example (an independent country). Being an overseas territory of the UK meant that other countries could not give to the BVI – based on it being part of the UK (a developed country or first world country), but at the same time the OECD guidelines on who could be granted aid meant the UK also could not give to the BVI based on GDP or whatever. Point is…the BVI got no substantial grants from the UK to assist with disaster relief. In comparison the USVI really did get BILLIONS. Fraser is not wrong. The reasons why are immaterial, the fact is that what he said was the truth.

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  14. Reparations says:

    Maybe if the UK paid reparations to account for all the blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors which assisted with financing the industrial revolution and lining the coffers of the UK Govt in London and also many among the aristocratic class, we would have enough to build a first class infrastructure in these islands. Perhaps if they did not leave us poverty stricken to build a country largely on our own (mistakes and all) we would be further along. I’m just saying….

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  15. Big difference says:

    Well the US Govt are not the former colonial masters of the descendants of the slaves in USVI either. The US also from the 1917 onwards continued to pour money into the development of the infrastructure in the USVI and always considered the USVI of strategic importance. Meanwhile, the UK had little use for the VI after slavery and their ability to extract $ from the plantations ended, and possibly considered that the BVI might only serve well as a bird sanctuary – (of course it could have been worse, e.g. treatment like the poor ppl of the Chagos Islands).

    Also from day 1, the ppl of the USVI were American citizens. Sure, they can’t vote for the president but they have always been treated better by the Americans than the VI has been by the British. Let’s be real. The OTs have only since 2002 been able to apply for British citizenship. On the plus side, there has been progress. Now, the UK (since divorce from the EU) have even been pursuing even deeper engagement with all the OTs, while we must query the motives, only time will tell where things will go, perhaps it will all have a positive ending. However, please DO NOT act like there arent reasons for a difference in attitude from the USVI to the USA and the VI (and some other OTs) to the UK.

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  16. Referendum says:

    needed to ignore whatever this man speaks or writes forever.

  17. TurtleDove says:

    All the disrespect for GB now we have our hands out for cash…….Where would what was received so far would have come from if the BVI was independent?

    There are issues that the USVI have with the USA but they are using the correct channels to deal with those issues. All the SOME in the BVI do is bash, talk about colonialism and independence.

  18. Rubber Chicken says:

    The BVI would be better under the US. End of Story

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  19. @ Reparations says:

    Really, you think that?….You don’t think your ancestors would run the place into the ground? Look again. There was a lot of money in the Territory for 25 +years

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  20. Paid bloggers again says:

    I see the pro-UK and anti-VI bloggers are at it again. LOL, we see you and we are ignoring you. We Virgin Islanders know the truth, the USA does treat the USVI way better than the VI has ever been treated by the UK. Not that the VI is not proud of the fact that we built our country without much assistance from the UK. Things could definitely have been better, but not a man on earth will ever make me ashamed of what my forefathers have accomplished and the strides we have made forward. I admit though that things could have been done more prudently. However, the present sentiment toward the UK is due to the UK’s historic treatment of these islands. Those of you who have just graced these shores with your presence would never understand it. Those of you being paid to blog anti-VI nonsense would not understand it either.

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  21. Important difference says:

    People in the USVI pay taxes. Those who don’t are penalized. Here?

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  22. lol says:

    We got nothing. COI showed us how much you guys been getting. We got nothing because of greedy politicians

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  23. They helped says:

    with law and order to stop the looting. and helped to do repairs too.

  24. @@ Reparations says:

    My ancestors built this place that was neglected and left to be a bird sanctuary. They are not all perfect, but neither are yours! I know it your superiority complex makes it hard for you to understand this but my ppl are just as capable of running the country that my ancestors built as anyone else. No country on earth is perfect. Indeed, the VI with so many expats living here and clamoring for status makes me believe that it far from the worst place to be despite what ppl may have us think. I agree that better could have been done, I will not shy away from that. However, I refuse to allow the narrative that some of you wish to peddle to go unanswered. My ancestors, while not perfect, did well. It is now for us to build upon the foundation that they have laid.

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  25. Damiki Freeman says:

    Well said

  26. Mirrorman says:

    So you want money from your great great great grandparents masters? Even though you were granted land, a British passport, given financial assistance and military protection? You cling on to historical mistakes from hundreds of years ago and blame the living ancestors of those slave masters for you not having opportunities in your own country. But you vote your corrupt, thieving, racist, uneducated and drug running families in to rule you, and then again blame the UK for not sorting out your mess? Start by cleaning up your own problems! If you want independence the UK will be happy to grant it as soon as you are able to stand on your own two feet! The UK doesn’t want to fund some corrupt Little Rock’s in the Atlantic where the population can’t even school their children correctly, but bitch that “foreigners take our jobs”. Where is the University that your government has built you to train your uneducated children to be able to do these stolen jobs? If anyone is racist, uneducated, ungrateful, thieving, drug dealing, finger pointing bigots then you should look in the mirror and see the BVI staring back at you! You are all too uneducated to realize the world will be banning all offshore banking very soon! Little Rock’s will still be full of uneducated racist & ungrateful masses who are poor slaves to their own corrupt families but with no master nation to help bail you out! Then you can cry that the UK abandoned you and deserted you, because you blame everyone but do nothing to help yourselves!

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  27. @mirrorman says:

    Yes, it is only fair to redress centuries of injustice which has given and continues to give tangible benefit to the UK, and its upper class. I do not blame anyone, I simply desire justice and that there be reckoning for what has been done.

  28. WEW says:

    And the USVI keeps getting more !

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