WASHINGTON DC, January 8, 2008- Jamaican Finance Minister, Mr. Audley Shaw, and Yvonne Tsikata, World Bank Director for the Caribbean, signed today a US$ 10 million emergency-loan to support the Jamaican Government in recovering from the Hurricane Dean disaster, and to strengthen its ability to respond to future adverse natural events.
"This important project will help us to rebuild and support schools, health centers, and community and farm roads affected by the hurricane" said Minister Shaw during the signing ceremony. He also appreciated the readiness of the Bank to quickly respond to Jamaica's urgent request.
The Jamaica Hurricane Dean Emergency Recovery Project aims to restore access to basic community infrastructure - specifically elementary schools, health centers and critical feeder roads - for selected communities and to strengthen the government's ability to respond to future adverse natural disasters.
The project will finance rehabilitation of:
- Basic and Primary schools, mainly those schools built under the National Community Development Project (NCDP).
- Community Health Clinics.
- Parochial /Feeder roads, to facilitate access to productive infrastructure and access to health and educational facilities.
- Capacity Buildingfor Disaster Preparedness, by financing studies and activities to strengthen the capacity to respond to natural disasters.
"The Bank prepared, processed and approved the project in only six weeks" said Yvonne Tsikata, Country Director for the Caribbean. "We are responding faster and more efficiently to the emergency needs" she said.
Caribbean States are highly vulnerable to natural disasters - on average, one major hurricane affects a country in the region every 2 years - and have only limited options available to respond.
Jamaica suffered extensive damage due to the passage of Hurricane Dean on August 19, 2007. Weather conditions associated with Hurricane Dean started to affect Jamaica, especially eastern parishes on the morning of Sunday August 19th. These conditions spread westward to impact the entire island.
The loan is repayable in 17 years, including a 5 year grace period.
For more information about the Jamaica Hurricane Dean Emergency Recovery Project please visit: http://web.worldbank.org/external/projects/main?pagePK=64283627&piPK=73230&theSitePK=40941&menuPK"8424&Projectid=P109575
For more information about the World Bank's work in Jamaica, please visit:http:// www.worldbank.org/jm