PM Browne appeals to international donors

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne is hoping that by the end of his presentation to international donors today, there will be an increase in financial pledges towards the US $222 million needed to rebuild Barbuda.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, ahead of the U.N. Caricom pledging conference in New York today, Browne said he is hoping to significantly surpass the 10 percent currently promised.
“Even if we are able to raise half of it then that would make a significant difference. We are required to build 400 homes and unless we build those homes, it will be difficult to have the residents of Barbuda returning to Barbuda because they have nowhere to live,” Browne said.
The country’s leader highlighted the difficult situation in which Barbudans find themselves –  homeless, jobless and nowhere to turn.
Browne reiterated that rebuilding Barbuda is beyond the means of the government, and the twin-island nation needs as much help as possible.
He noted that although the water supply has been restored, Codrington is still without electricity, two months after Hurricane Irma decimated the island and left its 1,200-plus residents without homes.
Achim Steiner, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) administrator added that the initial shock of the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Irma has worn off, and media attention has shifted to other news items.
He listened as Browne recounted a “sobering account,” of the Barbudan situation.
“Just a couple of months after such a devastating natural disaster, the world moves on, and what is left behind is a set of unanswered questions. We are pleased to host a high-level pledging conference to bring together the hard work that has been done over the last few months in post-disaster needs assessment, building damage assessment and estimates of what is needed to rehabilitate the infrastructure,” Steiner concluded.

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