CDB releases US $29M for Irma recovery efforts

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The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a U.S. $29 million loan to help Antigua and Barbuda’s recovery efforts following the devastation of Hurricane Irma in September.
A release from the bank stated that the money will be used to reconstruct critical infrastructure in the transportation, education, water, sanitation, and agriculture sectors.
Hurricane Irma made landfall in Barbuda as a Category 5 hurricane, destroying housing, crops, livestock and fishing vessels, while severely undermining the island’s water supply. The Antigua State College on the mainland was also affected by heavy winds and rains, while storm surges and flooding caused additional damage to many roads, the bank noted.
A World Bank estimate pegged the recovery figure at U.S. $222 million.  
“At CDB, we worked very closely with our in-country counterparts to develop the interventions captured in this project, which will support the government’s efforts towards a comprehensive and sustainable approach to the redevelopment process, as it aims to ‘build back better’,” said Daniel Best, CDB’s Director of Projects.
Planned infrastructure works include: reconstruction of 11 kilometres of road, and repair of a bridge, along with associated drainage works; reconstruction and rehabilitation of education institutions in both Antigua and Barbuda and construction of teacher accommodation in Barbuda; the rehabilitation of the desalination plant and water storage facilities in Barbuda; and the upgrade and rehabilitation of agriculture and fishing infrastructure. 
Additional components include a redevelopment plan and policies for Barbuda, capacity building initiatives and engineering consultancy services.
The CDB had previously provided a U.S. $200,000 Emergency Relief Grant and an Immediate Response Loan in the amount of U.S. $750,000 to the government of Antigua and Barbuda, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
The bank has also approved a loan of U.S. $11.8 million to assist the government in meeting its financial obligations to external partners.

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