In her first Mission to Antigua and Barbuda after Hurricane Irma, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Jessica Faieta showed a strong commitment to support recovery efforts in Barbuda.
During a two-day mission that finalized yesterday, Ms. Faieta met with Prime Minister Gaston Browne, and discussed immediate and long-term support from UNDP to help “Barbudans get back home” with a home repair initiative. She reiterated UNDP’s commitment to the people and Government of Antigua and Barbuda.
A Building Damage Assessment (BDA) was finalized by UNDP and the National Office of Disaster Service in Barbuda at the end of November, with the engagement of national authorities of the Ministry of Housing and Works, the Development Control Authority, the private sector (Antigua and Barbuda Architects Institute, Association of Contractors (Antigua and Barbuda) Inc.
“I am pleased that the Building Damage Assessment was completed so efficiently, with so many partners. It will inform the reconstruction moving forward, and will support all stakeholders aiming for high quality building standards,” she said.
The Building Assessment Findings indicated that 100 percent of structures were damaged to some extend in Barbuda, with 48 percent having experienced minimal (level 1) or minor damage (level 2), 21 percent being severely affected (level 3) or 23 percent destroyed (level 4). The damage was more severe on private structures than public ones, and has affected more systematically smaller structures. The data clearly indicates that the primary type of damage (41 percent of cases) is related to the roofs. There are 859 structures in Barbuda with an extent of roof damage of 25 percent or more, and therefore in need of a new roof.
As part of the South South Cooperation initiative, the People’s Republic of China is partnering with UNDP to build back better in Barbuda with US$2million being used for the procurement of roofing materials, and strong focus on training. During the high-level UNDP mission, the Ambassador of China in Antigua and Barbuda H.E. Wang Xianmin, and First Secretary of Economic Office, Ms. Sun Jinhuan also welcomed UNDP Regional Director’s visit.
The roofing materials procured through this project are scheduled to arrive by the end of January 2018. The Ambassador expressed his appreciation for UNDP’s work in support of the reconstruction process and stressed his country’s financial commitment to the initial relief in the aftermath of the hurricane, and to the longer-term recovery effort.
About the South South Cooperation initiative, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said he looks forward to working in cooperation with UNDP on quality rebuilding efforts, and on the repairs of at least 200 houses and some public buildings, which will support the return of affected families to Barbuda.