Sunday, November 19, 2017
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UK Government to set up private sector task force to help rebuild hurricane affected islands



Patel-2Basseterre, Saturday 14th October, 2017, ( private sector across the Caribbean is to be invited by the Government of the United Kingdom, to help forge new strategies to rebuild countries devastated by hurricanes.

THE UK government’s International Development Secretary Priti Patel, in a press statement issued on Friday, confirmed that they are to set up a private sector Task Force to help long-term reconstruction in countries and territories hit by last month's Caribbean hurricanes.

It will mobilize private sector support to rebuild critical infrastructure such as roads and power supplies essential to get economies up and running again, and better withstand future natural disasters.

The team of top business leaders, either CEOs or Chairs with experience in the Caribbean, will sit on the Task Force.

Ms Patel will announce the Task Force at a meeting to discuss the response to the hurricanes and how to enhance global crisis preparedness and response, hosted by the World Bank in Washington D.C.

The Task Force will look at ways in which support from the private sector, both financial and technical, in industries such as construction, insurance, banking and tourism, can be used to help reconstruction on the three UK Overseas Territories worst hit by last month's Hurricane Irma: British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and Turks and Caicos.

Ms Patel will convene a meeting in London in November to discuss how best to maximise the contribution of the private sector.

The UK government has already committed over £62 million towards the immediate relief effort, and has delivered or procured nearly 180 tonnes of aid for the region.

The focus of the private sector Task Force announced today will specifically be the long-term reconstruction on the affected islands.

Ms Patel will say at the World Bank hosted event, "No small island can reasonably be expected to recover and rebuild from a catastrophic disaster that undermines their entire economy without international support.

"They need businesses to step up. The private sector is key to reviving the region's economies and must play a central role in the reconstruction of these islands, helping them to build back better."

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