The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

An­tigua and Bar­buda and the Euro­pean Union (EU) have signed an agree­ment for EUR 5 mil­lion (EC$15.7 mil­lion) to sup­port the re­con­struc­tion of houses in Bar­buda af­ter hur­ri­cane Irma. The sup­port was al­lo­cated from the emer­gency re­serves of the Euro­pean De­vel­op­ment Fund, and comes on top of the coun­try's co-op­er­a­tion pro­grammes with the EU.

The pro­gramme, en­ti­tled "Hous­ing Sup­port to Bar­buda af­ter Hur­ri­cane Irma" will be im­ple­mented by the United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (UNDP) and aims to re­build to higher re­silience stan­dards 150 houses in Bar­buda, fol­low­ing strict and adapted build­ing codes, in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with the na­tional au­thor­i­ties and con­cerned in­sti­tu­tions like the Na­tional Office for Dis­as­ter Services (NODS).

Dur­ing the sign­ing cer­e­mony in An­tigua, Daniela Tra­macere, EU Am­bas­sador to An­tigua and Bar­buda said: "This part­ner­ship be­tween the Gov­ern­ment of An­tigua and Bar­buda, the UNDP and the Euro­pean Union is the guar­an­tee that 150 Bar­bu­dan fam­i­lies will re­turn to a safe, high qual­ity and hur­ri­canere­silient home."

The com­mon aim of An­tigua and Bar­buda and the EU, through their long-last­ing part­ner­ship and co-op­er­a­tion, is to re­duce vul­ner­a­bil­ity of the coun­try to cli­mate change and nat­u­ral dis­as­ters in par­tic­u­lar. It also seeks to im­prove the coun­try's fis­cal and macroe­co­nomic re­silience through di­rect sup­port to the Pub­lic Fi­nance Man­age­ment Sys­tem.

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