The agreement was made during a meeting between the UNDP and the BVI government to discuss available UNDP assistance to the territory for post-disaster recovery.
The virtual meeting held on October 29, saw the UNDP presenting its Household and Building Damage Assessment (HBDA) toolkit that can be activated after a hurricane.
This kit is expected to help local government authorities to determine the extent of damage to the housing stock as well as economic losses to households.
The Director of the Town & Country Planning Department, Greg Adams said he welcomed the available assistance to the territory. He also highlighted his department’s official responsibility of assessing damage after a natural disaster has occurred.
The Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Dr Carolyn O’Neal-Morton also expressed her gratitude to the UNDP for their commitment to assist the territory in the event of a natural disaster. She said the meeting was important to help build local damage assessment capacity that will support recovery for which the Premier’s Office holds responsibility.
“UNDP’s household and building damage assessment toolkit are highly effective and we are grateful that it is available to the Virgin Islands in the unfortunate event of a hurricane or earthquake. I am also very pleased that UNDP will be providing capacity-building support to the government in this area. Our partnership is going from strength to strength that is assisting our local efforts to build greater resilience,” O’Neal Morton said.
The BVI was devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria back in 2017 and this led to significant damage to the housing and building infrastructure in the territory.
This displaced a lot of private and public individuals. Up to this day, the government is still providing assistance to those affected by the hurricanes under the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA).
The agency has assisted several residents with the rebuilding of their houses that were destroyed by the hurricanes. It has also helped in the rebuilding of public infrastructure in the territory.