Government announces assistance to Grenada
The Government announced today that assistance amounting to €250,000 will be available for recovery and development activities in Grenada in the wake of the devastating hurricanes, which have struck the Caribbean in the last few months. These hurricanes, particularly Hurricane Ivan, caused substantial damage to the island in September and October. The economic effects will be felt for many years.
Announcing the assistance, Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, Conor Lenihan TD, stated “A succession of hurricanes in the Caribbean over the last few months have caused enormous damage to the small island of Grenada. While the emergency has now passed, there are great development needs in terms of rehabilitation of infrastructure, including schools, health clinics and housing. Emergency assistance amounting to €250,000 has already been committed to Grenada. This new aid will be focussed on the long term development needs of the island and its people”.
According to estimates, over 80% of the island’s stock of housing was destroyed in the hurricanes and economic growth forecasts are predicting a drop of 6% in GNP. The total hurricane damage is likely to reach almost US$900 million. Tourism income and traditional crops have also been badly affected.
The assistance to Grenada will be delivered through NGOs, the Red Cross, UN agencies and through Irish missionaries via the Missionary Development Fund.
Note for Editors
The island of Grenada sustained major damage as a result of a number of hurricanes, particularly Hurricane Ivan. This small island, with a population of 90,000 suffered heavy infrastructural damage to schools, health clinics and housing. Water, electricity and phone services were also damaged. Approximately 60,000 needed some assistance and 5000 needed emergency shelter.
The emergency phase has now passed and the challenge is to rehabilitate the social and economic infrastructure. Ireland assisted the emergency phase and the new funding will now help Grenada in moving from recovery to more long-term development. The emphasis will be on assisting communities to help themselves.
Ireland has responded more generally to the hurricanes in the Caribbean region. Total development and emergency funding has amounted to over €2 million in Grenada, Haiti and Jamaica this year.