Chinese Ambassador concerned about Barbuda rehabilitation

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By Orville Williams

The Chinese Ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda, Sun Ang, has expressed his concern about the situation in Barbuda, more than two years after the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma.

The hurricane hit the island in September 2017 and caused major destruction, with an estimated 90 percent of properties damaged. Since then, recovery efforts have been very slow and fingers have been pointed in every direction.

To support the recovery efforts, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda signed a Financing Agreement worth 5 million Euros with the European Union (EU) in 2018, with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) named the implementing agency.

A subsequent Delegation Agreement was signed between the EU and the UNDP in January 2019, which marked the official start of the 24-month housing project.

Other agreements for restorative projects have been signed and led by the UNDP, including a debris management project (funded by the United Nations Central Emergency Relief Fund), a rehabilitation of public infrastructures project (funded by the Government of India), and a roof restoration initiative (funded by the Government of China).

Ambassador Sun told OBSERVER media that he is a bit bemused that there were so many donations given and agreements signed, yet there are also many reports of a lackadaisical approach to the execution. This, he says, is reason for concern.

Read more in today’s newspaper

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