13 September 2017


The U.S. Virgin Islands is among the few Caribbean overseas terrritories not serviced by UNDP despite repeated U.N. General Assembly resolutions calling for the U.N. body to include the territory in UNDP programmes, most recently by way of U.N. Resolution 71/118 of 6 December 2016:

"(The U.N. General Assembly) reiterates its call for the inclusion of the Territory (of the U.S. Virgin Islands) in regional programmes of the United Nations Development Programme, consistent with the participation of other Non-Self-Governing Territories."  

KINGSTON, Jamaica — United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country offices in the Caribbean region have joined forces and allocated resources to immediately implement a regional recovery strategy for island nations impacted by Hurricane Irma.

This regional recovery strategy, including debris and waste removal, short term employment and rehabilitation of community infrastructure, will be developed and implemented in support to national authorities and other partners, and under the leadership of the resident representatives stationed in Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and Barbados.

Bruno Pouezat, UNDP resident representative assigned to Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, said the strategy’s main objective is the swift recovery of affected communities by debris/waste removal and reactivation of local economies through livelihoods opportunities.

UNDP has established a menu of recovery activities which includes, subject to specific need:
Debris management of damaged houses and community infrastructure (removal, reuse and recycling).
Waste management of palm trees or other waste left by the strong winds.

Cash for work (CfW): short term employment opportunities for families affected. This will inject cash in the communities, tools, equipment, training and technical capacity of professionals such as engineers and architects).
Rehabilitation of community infrastructure including provision of required materials and basic services.
Support to micro and small enterprises to resume their economic activities.
Support to core government functions and coordination, depending on the needs and the official requests.

Recovery activities will immediately kick off in most affected areas with initiatives showing quick tangible results that can be easily replicated in other areas as needed.

UNDP is establishing a technical team that will provide direct support to country offices and affected countries. Implementation could start in the next two weeks depending on government engagement, community interest and logistics.

One of the three pillars of UNDP’s work is climate and disaster resilience including crisis and disaster response. UNDP works with government on the ground in more than 170 countries.