KINGSTOWN: The European Union has agreed to allocate approximately EC$45.5 million (one EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) in grants for St. Vincent & the Grenadines and St. Lucia after both countries were affected by severe flooding in December 2013.
St. Vincent & the Grenadines, which suffered the heaviest damage, will receive EC$23.5 million and St. Lucia EC$22.4 million.
The floods, which accompanied a severe weather system, resulted in the deaths of more than 15 people. It also significantly impacted infrastructures in both countries, with substantial damages to roads and bridges, with impact concentrated in areas with the highest levels of poverty.
The funds will be dedicated to the reconstruction of key infrastructure damaged by the floods and to build resilience by improving river protection and slope stabilization in major areas of the countries.
The Chateaubelair Jetty in St. Vincent & the Grenadines and the Piaye Bridge in St. Lucia, which were extensively damaged during the storm, could potentially benefit from the EU intervention.
“This support demonstrates the EU’s commitment to the reconstruction of both countries and further highlights Europe’s solidarity with the Caribbean, which we recognize as one of the most vulnerable regions in the world,” said Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Ambassador, Mikael Barfod.
The European Union is also providing 20 million euro to support the regional disaster management program of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency as it undertakes disaster risk reduction measures in the region.