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Recovery and Development Agency
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United Kingdom (UK) Foreign Office Minister for the Overseas Territories Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon will visit the British Virgin Islands between July 31 and August 1 to discuss hurricane preparedness, and view progress on recovery.
As part of his two-day visit, the Minister and Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE will visit a number of public sites affected by last year’s hurricanes.
Lord Ahmad will be updated on the how the UK’s support is helping recovery efforts, and will officially hand over the new purpose-built temporary Court House to the Government. This court house will allow the Supreme Court and Magistrates’ Court to function fully while a permanent building is constructed.
Lord Ahmad will also visit RFA Mounts Bay which will remain in the region throughout the hurricane season to provide rapid assistance to islands if needed. He will meet with the board of the Recovery and Development Agency to be updated on their progress and efforts to deliver the six month accelerated plan ahead of endorsement of the longer term Recovery and Development Plan by the House of Assembly.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Foreign Office Minister for the Overseas Territories, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon said, “The UK has played a critical role in assisting the region to recover from last year’s unprecedented and devastating hurricanes, providing aid and support to help British Overseas Territories.”
Lord Ahmad added, “However, I know there is still more to be done before the islands are fully recovered and the UK stands ready to help. We are already working with partners across the Caribbean to make sure plans are being put in place to prepare for future hurricanes so we do not see a repeat of last year’s destruction.”
Lord Ahmad will also seek to address concerns about the UK’s Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act when he meets with Premier Smith and the Cabinet. He will also meet with members of the financial services industry, business and tourism representatives.