WASHINGTON, January 13, 2011 — The World Bank Board of Directors approved a US$5 million zero-interest credit to help Saint Vincent and the Grenadines rehabilitate key infrastructure damaged by the passage of Hurricane Tomas.
“This financing will provide much needed resources to support the government's program of rehabilitation and reconstruction of public infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Tomas,” said Françoise Clottes, World Bank Director for the Caribbean. “A critical component of this project is its focus on improving the government’s capacity to analyze risk to enable better integration of measures to reduce hazard risk in national and sectoral development plans.”
Hurricane Tomas swept over the Eastern Caribbean region on October 30, 2010, causing extensive damage in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines estimated at between 5-10 percent of the country’s GDP. The hurricane damaged over 1,200 private homes, as well as public buildings and infrastructure, roads and power systems. Three public schools and five community centers were badly damaged.
The Hurricane Tomas Emergency Recovery Project will finance the costs associated with restoring infrastructure in the transportation, education, and public sectors, and strengthen the country’s capacity to manage disaster risk.
Specifically, the project will finance the following activities:
- Rehabilitation of vulnerable and damaged infrastructure. This will include the rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged schools (Georgetown Secondary, Georgetown Primary and Troumacca Secondary), community centers (Rose Hall, Rose Bank and Rillan Hill), the strengthening of the Marriaqua river defense site (Tiviot River), and the rehabilitation of transportation infrastructure (Hopewell Road). These civil works will ensure the structures become resilient to future adverse natural events.
- Institutional strengthening and hazard and risk analysis. This component will improve the capacity within the Ministry of Housing, Informal Human Settlements, Lands and Surveys and Physical Planning and the National Emergency Management Organization to work with geo-referenced information in order to evaluate natural hazard and climate change risks. Activities will include purchase of equipment and provision of services to assist with data collection and management.
The US$5 million zero-interest credit from the International Development Association (IDA) is repayable in 35 years, including a 10-year grace period.