Despite the Virgin Islands not qualifying for the United Kingdom Overseas Development Assistance because of its high Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and level of income, Governor John Rankin noted the UK is willing to offer support to the BVI in any event of a natural disaster.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Governor Rankin explained that BVI’s GDP is calculated based on the economic data available on the territory.
He added that the level of GDP in the territory means the BVI is not among the poorest countries in the world eligible for that specific form of overseas development assistance.
“But that does not mean help cannot be given in emergency when it is needed. That is precisely why the UK gave so much essential assistance to BVI in 2017 following the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. It is also why the UK continues to support efforts here on climate adaptation,” Governor Rankin said.
“You would be aware of the number of projects the UK has funded through its recovery development agency here for example solar projects to help to develop renewable energy here in the territory and I expect them to continue to do that for the future. So, the fact that the BVI is not eligible for that particular form of overseas development assistance does not mean the UK will not help the BVI in its time of need as we have done and continue to do,” he added.
The Governor noted the budgetary provisions here in the territory are determined by the BVI government. But under special circumstances, the United Kingdom Government can assist the Virgin Islands
He added that if and when that time comes, it will be given a constructive hearing.