Dominica suffered hurricane damage of around US$1.3B – assessment

-World Bank preparing ‘package of over US$100M

An international assessment has determined that Hurricane Maria inflicted around US1.3B worth of damage on Dominica in September.

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Dominica following Hurricane Maria (Reuters photo)

ime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and World Bank Vice President Jorge Familiar met yesterday in Dominica to discuss the initial findings of the Post Disaster Needs Assessment and the World Bank support for resilient recovery and reconstruction, according to a joint release from Dominica and the World Bank.

The visit, following the high-level Caribbean roundtable in Washington on October 13, signals the World Bank’s continued commitment to fast track aid to Dominica in building back better following the Category 5 battering by Maria, the release said.  A World Bank team was deployed to Dominica to assist the government in assessing the damage and to start planning the reconstruction.

As part of the hurricane response, the release said that the World Bank is preparing a financial package of over US$100 million for Dominica to provide immediate support to farmers, rebuild resilient public infrastructure, bolster resilience, and help promote financial buffers.

“In the face of a disaster such as the one faced by Dominica where every small town, every street, every person has been affected, recovery requires support from all partners for reconstruction and resilience”,  Familiar said.

“I commended Prime Minister Skerrit for his vision of making Dominica the first climate resilient nation in the world and assured the Prime Minister that Dominica can count on our full support in turning this tragic event into an opportunity to build back stronger and plan for a more sustainable future”, he added.

Preliminary results from the rapid damage and loss assessment jointly conducted with the World Bank, the UN, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, and the European Union, estimate that Hurricane Maria cost over 200 percent of annual GDP, equivalent to approximately US$1.3 billion. Public infrastructure, electricity and telecom networks, housing and agriculture sectors suffered the biggest losses.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Skerrit requested support for providing small grants to farmers and small businesses impacted by the hurricane. In reply, the World Bank Vice President confirmed the immediate availability of US$10 million to help support small farmers.

The World Bank Vice President reaffirmed the institution’s strong coordination with international partners including at the upcoming partners conference led by CARICOM with support of UNDP on November 21 in New York.

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