The United Kingdom (UK) will not be assisting the BVI in its quest to jump start one of its economic pillars, tourism. This is according to Nigel Abrams, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.
This week, Henry Smith, Conservative Parliamentarian, asked Abrams if the UK Government will provide funding to the BVI to support the recovery of the tourism sector in that country following the devastation resulting from Hurricane Irma in 2017 and the effect of ongoing COVID
-19 travel restrictions.
In response, Abrams said, “the tourism industry is the responsibility of the BVI Government and they have recently announced protocols designed to enable the return of cruise ships to the BVI.”
He further explained that since the start of the pandemic, the UK has provided in excess of £1.5 million of medical supplies, including testing kits, PPE, a field hospital kit and ventilators.
Abrams said the UK began supplying vaccines
to BVI in February and will continue to supply sufficient vaccines
for all adults in the Territory, “in addition UK health experts continue to provide advice and information to the BVI Health Service Authority to help inform BVI's COVID
The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs also stated that in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the UK provided a range of support, including military, police and humanitarian support and technical expertise.
He said the UK then donated approximately £13 million to support immediate priorities identified by the BVI Government in partnership with the Governor's office, including critical infrastructure, the supply of water, electricity and housing.
“Since then, the UK has supported the long-term recovery of the territory through the BVI territory programme which is funded by the UK Government's Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF),” Abrams said.
Cruise ships are set to return to the BVI from next month.