News Release

Caribbean Development Bank Senior Management Visits St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Accelerate Hurricane Recovery Efforts

Published on
four gentlemen sit facing each other having a discussion

Days after Hurricane Beryl impacted St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Acting President Mr. Isaac Solomon, and CDB senior managers are currently in the archipelago for stakeholder outreach, information gathering, and a first-hand look at the storm's impact.

The high-level delegation has met with Prime Minister, Dr. The Honourable Ralph Gonsalves and key government officials in Kingstown to discuss the initial support CDB can provide for response and recovery efforts. The Bank’s team received a briefing from Prime Minister Gonsalves and other government officials, including Hon. Camillo Gonsalves, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, and Information Technology and CDB Governor for St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Ms. Michelle Forbes, Director of the National Emergency Management Organisation; and Mr. Edmond Jackson, Director-General of Finance and Planning.

Prime Minister Gonsalves provided an in-depth update on the destruction, particularly on Union Island, Canouan, and Mayreau in the Grenadines highlighting the severe impact on housing, agriculture, education, and energy supply, and the widespread dislocation of communities and households. He shared initial estimates of the number of citizens affected, indicating the social and economic challenges ahead, emphasising the need psychosocial support which is also part of the Bank’s disaster response approach.

In response, Mr. Solomon outlined immediate actions CDB will take to alleviate the hurricane’s effects on citizens and vital institutions including a support package. "CDB stands in solidarity with the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines during this challenging time. Our commitment to supporting the recovery and rebuilding process is unwavering. We are here because we understand the urgent need for swift and effective recovery measures but beyond that, we will help to create stronger, more resilient communities that can withstand future challenges," Acting President Solomon said.

The Bank delegation includes Mr. Ian Durant, Director of Economics; Mr. O'Reilly Lewis, Director of Projects (Ag); Ms. Camille Taylor, Head of Corporate Communications; and Operations Officers Mr. Paul Saunders and Mr. Jude Regis.  Discussions with government officials also addressed long-term recovery efforts and potential collaborations with the Bank’s partner institutions to enhance resources for greater impact.

The CDB team also visited several communities within Union Island and Canouan, which suffered widespread devastation.  Homes, schools, community spaces, and public facilities were severely damaged, and electricity and telecommunications services were completely wiped out. The delegation also toured the windward side of the mainland, where several education facilities sustained damage, including the Owia Government School and Early Childhood Centre, and the Calder Government School, where winds tore off roofing and rains destroyed classroom furniture, equipment, and teaching aids.

classroom with ceiling tiles on the floor and water damgaed school equipment
At the Owia Government School and Early Childhood Centre, winds tore off roofing and rains destroyed classroom furniture, equipment, and teaching aids.

The delegation will also be travelling to Grenada to discuss support for the recovery efforts in that country which was also severely affected by Hurricane Beryl.