Grenada

OECS Secretariat presents findings of assessment of losses in Grenada associated with Hurricane Ivan

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The OECS Secretariat led mission to undertake a Macro Assessment of the Social and Economic Direct and Indirect losses and secondary effects of Hurricane Ivan on the economy of Grenada, presented its findings in a 145 page report to the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues on Friday, 24 th September, in St Georges. The ten person team led by Director General, Dr Len Ishmael and Technical Team Leader, Dr Esteban Perez from the UN-ECLAC Sub-regional Headquarters for the Caribbean comprised five persons from the OECS Secretariat, two from UN-ECLAC, one each from USAID and ECCB and a consultant engineer from Smith Warner International.

The round-the-clock effort by the Team Members over the 5 days of the Mission is reflected in the production of a comprehensive report whose findings speak to the long process of recovery and rehabilitation which lies ahead. The report undertakes a sector by sector analysis of the impact of Hurricane Ivan. An assessment of overall damages and their macro effects was computed in the short, medium and long term. Sectors are grouped into four categories: Social (housing, health and education); Production (agriculture, manufacturing, wholesale and retail, tourism); Infrastructural (electricity, water and sewage, telecommunications, roads and drainage, coastal infrastructure, air and sea ports); and Environment (effects on watersheds, water quality and coastal resources). The Report makes recommendations and identifies projects to assist in meeting three major objectives: reinvigorating the economy, generating employment and reducing social vulnerabilities.

Overall damages are EC$2.2 billion or twice the current value of GDP. Direct damages at 90% were the most important component of overall losses, with a high concentration in the housing sector. In some areas 100% of the housing stock was destroyed. Overall 90% of the stock was damaged. Damages to that sector are EC$1,381 million. Significant damages were also sustained to the Tourism sector (EC$288 million), Education (EC$196 million); Telecommunications (EC$126 million) and Agriculture (97 million). The level of damages to the housing sector represented 38% of total GDP, that to tourism 29% of GDP, followed by damages to education, telecommunications, agriculture and electricity representing 20%, 13%, 10% and 9% of GDP respectively. Losses in tourism are particularly heavy with damages sustained to 90% of all rooms.

Eco-tourism sites and attractions and cultural heritage sites suffered extensive damage. Job losses in the sector are expected to be over 60%. Agriculture production has been lost. Cocoa and nutmeg – two main traditional crops with long period of gestation - will not be expected to contribute to agricultural performance for many years.

Prior to the disaster the economy was expected to grow at a rate of 5.7% in 2004. Contraction of -1.4% is now predicted as a result of the effects of Hurricane Ivan. No growth is expected in 2005 as a result of loss of productive sectors. Growth is predicted however for 2006 as revitalization – particularly in tourism, is realized. As a result, many of those who have lost their homes, have now lost their jobs as well. What this translates into, is a scenario in which the social consequences of Hurricane Ivan will be among the most traumatic for quite sometime to come.

The report detailing the Macro Assessment of the Economic and Social impacts of Hurricane Ivan on the Grenadian economy has been sent to all of the major development partners operating in Europe, the USA and the Caribbean region. The report will be presented by a delegation comprising officials from the Government of Grenada, the Director General of the OECS and Dr Esteban Perez of UN-ECLAC at a special meeting of the Donor Community convened by the World Bank on 4 th October in an effort to secure the finances needed to rebuild the Grenadian economy and society.

For further information please contact OECS Communications Officer Mr. Kendol Morgan at Tel: (758) 452-2537 ext 8120; email: kmorgan@oecs.org