The OECS economies are small and highly open, which makes them volatile and prone to external shocks. Since 2010, some of the OECS countries have implemented strong fiscal consolidation programs and engaged in ambitious debt restructuring agendas.
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ResultsThe project supported the increased resilience of physical infrastructure, and the enhancement of institutional capacity to improve disaster preparedness and risk reduction through:Rehabilitati... Show More +on and hurricane retrofitting of schools and community centers which double up as emergency shelters. Three schools and three community centers were retrofitted with critical improvements, including roof repair, hurricane-resistant windows and gutters, emergency water supplies, etc. Special consideration was taken in building gender-segregated washrooms and disability access ramps, and the most vulnerable communities (highest poverty levels) were targeted for intervention. In the December 2013 storm, which resulted in flooding and landslides, four out of six of these facilities were activated as shelters and housed people for over eight weeks following the disaster.Road repair and river defense works. The rehabilitation of Hopewell Road and the flood protection works on the Teviot and Zenga rivers improved the main communication artery between the capital Kingstown and its airport with the Eastern side of the island, with daily traffic flows of 3,000 vehicles on average.Increasing the government’s risk mapping capabilities. Through training and the establishment of a Hazard and Risk Modeling Database, the country is better equipped to undergo predictive planning. When the December 2013 storm hit, the impact assessments were able to utilize the baseline conditions of some buildings to better assess the damage that occurred.Bank ContributionThe total amount of the Project amounted to US$5 million, financed by the IDA.Moving ForwardEnsuring complementary among its disaster risk management initiatives, the Bank continues to support vulnerability reduction and climate resilience in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines through the larger Regional Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (RDVRP) operation.This project scales up rehabilitation to other critical vulnerable infrastructure as well as continues to strengthen the government’s capacity to analyze disaster risk with more advanced analyses. Furthermore, in May 2014 the Bank approved an Additional Financing to the RDVRP of US$40.6 million of which US$19 million were provided by the IDA Crisis Response Window as emergency response to the December 2013 storm.BeneficiariesThe project particularly prioritized the most vulnerable groups, namely poor communities lacking access to emergency shelters as well as those needing gender-segregated washrooms and disability ramps.The investments have benefitted more than 2,175 school users and community centers during regular operations and as shelters. At project closure, in December 2013, over 225 people made homeless by exceptionally severe floods were sheltered in two community centers rehabilitated by the project. Similarly, some of the newly installed school emergency water systems were used to provide water to neighboring communities at the peak of the emergency. Show Less -