In the aftermath of the extensive damage and devastation caused from the passage of Hurricane Irma (HI) and Hurricane Maria (HM), essential services such as health, social services, telecommunications, electricity, water, sewerage and waste management systems were, and continue to be, severely compromised. Against this backdrop, The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and The Government of the Virgin Islands (GOVI) signed a Loan Agreement for sixty-five million, two hundred and ninety-one thousand dollars [US$65,291,000] to assist the Territory in the recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction of social and economic infrastructure.
 
The restoration of key services throughout the territory is an immediate priority for GOVI within the framework of enhancing disaster resilience, while revitalising the economy and society.  The widespread devastation requires a multi-sectoral response which focuses on the urgent needs of the recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in sectors which are important levers of socioeconomic well-being”. - Government of the Virgin Islands.

 

The outcome of the Rehabilitation and Recovery Loan (RRL) is to support “improved climate resilient and socially-inclusive infrastructure and institutions in the transport, water and sewerage, governance, education and national security sectors in BVI”, to rebuild a better, stronger and greener territory in a sustainable and resilient way.

The RRL activities focus on the following:
 
  • the rehabilitation and reconstruction of critical social and economic infrastructure in sectors identified above;
  • the provision of technical assistance in design and construction supervision services;
  • institutional strengthening for psychosocial support and Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessments (CRVAs); and
  • project management.
These activities are based on the 2017 BVI Recovery to Development Plan.
 
 
Specific Activities of the RRL include:
 
  1. Infrastructure Works: reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads and construction of sea defences; road/slope/embankment stabilisation works; rehabilitation of water supply and waste-water systems; reconstruction and rehabilitation of ferry terminals; rehabilitation of GOVI administration buildings, including courts; reconstruction of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) building, repairs and rehabilitation of primary schools; and reconstruction of the Eslyn Henley Richez Learning Centre and recreational facilities.
  2. Equipment, Tools, Materials and Supplies: supply and installation of furniture and equipment/tools and provision of learning materials for reconstructed and upgraded education institutions; and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment to schools, the police service, courts and government offices. 
  3. Design and Engineering Services: consultancy services for design, technical specifications, inspection, construction supervision and contract administration. 
  4. Institutional strengthening comprising training in and provision of psychosocial services to children and families, teachers, health workers, social workers and representatives of Non Governmental Organisations (NGO); and conduct of Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessments (CRVA).
  5. Engagement of project management teams and a Community Liaison Officer (CLO) to supplement the Projects Unit (PU), and an auditor to provide independent annual audits.
 
Project Implementation Unit - Ministry of Finance
 
The Projects Unit of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) is responsible for the planning and management of the RRL. The Projects Unit is headed by a Project Coordinator, who reports to Financial Secretary (FS), Ministry of Finance. 
 
A Project Steering Committee (PSC) has been established to facilitate the involvement and oversight of the major stakeholders of the Project. The PSC comprises representatives of Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communication and Works, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, DDM, the Town and Country Planning Department, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour and PC. 
 
In addition to the PSC, Project Coordination Committees (PCC) have been created to facilitate collaboration between the technical teams of the different Ministries involved in the RRL. PCCs meet regularly on an ongoing basis. 
 
In support of the Projects Unit, and per an Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands and the United Nations Development Programme (www.undp.org) (UNDP),  has established an Implementation Support Team tasked with helping the Projects Unit with the implementation of the RRL. The Implementation Support Team is responsible for the procurement of consultants in various sectors in accordance with the approved Procurement Plan for the Project and the Guidelines for the Selection and Engagement of Consultants (2011) published by CDB, as modified by the Bank’s Disaster Management Strategy and Operational Guidelines (2009).
 
RRL Schedule
 
Detailed designs and the award of the various construction and goods contracts are expected to be completed over the period June 2018 to January 2019. The works and goods contracts will be implemented over a 32-month period between May 2018 and January 2021.