Secretariat to assist hurricane damaged Grenada

The OECS Secretariat is preparing to mount a socio-economic assessment mission to Grenada to measure the impact on the country from last week's passage of hurricane Emily.

Preliminary estimates by the National Disaster Management agency (NaDMA) say the heavy winds and rain from Emily damaged or destroyed more than 3000 houses; and caused widespread damage to crops, roads and bridges.

The Secretariat team will assess the impact on the important agricultural sector and on the housing stock. They will also measure the overall impact on the country's social services and the overall economic development.

A similar assessment conducted following the passage of hurricane Ivan put the damage at U.S.2.5 billion dollars, representing 250 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product. That impact assessment study was presented to the Grenada government and was used in negotiations with the international financial community for assistance packages to the country.

Grenada was at the early stage of recovery and reconstruction following Ivan's devastation when Emily hit a mere ten months after.

The Secretariat Mission will examine the setback Emily's passage caused to the recovery effort.

An advanced two member team comprising new Director of the Social and Sustainable Development Division Dr. Vasantha Chase and Senior Communications Officer Kendol Morgan visited the areas most affected by Emily over the last weekend to gather information to guide the impact study and the information dissemination.

The Government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has appealed for regional and international assistance for the recovery effort.