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SVG launches US$21 million disaster vulnerability project

SVG launches US$21 million disaster  vulnerability project

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The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in collaboration with the World Bank and the Climate Investment Fund, has launched a US$21 million project aimed at reducing disaster vulnerability in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Regional Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project was launched on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at the Methodist Church Hall.

The project aims at measurably reducing vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change in SVG and will be measured using two main indicators. They are the reduced risk of the Vincentian population to failure of public buildings and infrastructure due to natural hazards or climate change impacts and increased capacity of the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to identify and monitor climate risk and impacts.

According to World Bank Representative Rolande Pryce, the project, which has been implemented in Grenada as well, seeks to provide a comprehensive response to help reduce vulnerability to disasters and climate change impact, not only in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but in the OECS on the whole. Pryce added that the programme also provides financing for reconstruction and activities relating to prevention and mitigation.

The second phase of the programme will include projects in St. Lucia and Dominica, Pryce stated.

Director of Planning Laura Anthony-Browne, making remarks at the launching ceremony, stated that SVG’s experiences with natural disasters such as Hurricane Tomas and the flash floods of April 2011 are enough to make us want to better prepare for natural disasters, but more so, to mitigate the potential for destruction whenever and wherever possible.

Anthony-Browne stated that the project will include the collaboration of several ministries of government, such as the Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Health and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), as well as the Ministry of Education.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Ralph Gonsalves, giving an outline of the components of the projects, stated that the first component of the programme Prevention and Adaptation Investments will cost EC$19.7 million dollars and will focus on reducing physical vulnerability and limit physical shock caused by diverse natural events. This component will include the rehabilitation and reconstruction of bridges, retrofitting of schools and investments in satellite emergency centres within the country.

The second component, Regional Platform for Hazard and Risk Evaluation and applications for improved decision making will cost EC$29 million, Gonsalves said. The third component, Natural Disaster Response Investments, will amount to EC$2.69 million, while the fourth, Project Management and Implementation Support, will cost EC$4.84 million.

The launching ceremony on Thursday was followed by a workshop, which included presentations from the World Bank on the project description, its components and rationale, as well as presentations by the Central Planning Division on the Inter-agency Coordination Arrangements, the Financial Management and the Project Results Frameworks and Monitoring and Evaluation.

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