In the Aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which significantly impacted the islands of the Caribbean in September 2017, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) launched the “CDEMA Legacy Project”. The aim of this project is to support the recovery and reconstruction efforts in Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Turks & Caicos Islands, which were severely impacted. In light of this, emphasis is placed on assisting single, female-headed families, the elderly, and persons with physical and mental challenges.
The Legacy Project was launched in Antigua and Barbuda in April 2018 with a donation of US$50,000.00 to provide assistance to approved beneficiaries. This was done in partnership with the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), Antigua and Barbuda as they undertook their Transitional Social Protection Programme.
Consequently, 270 displaced persons from the island of Barbuda were provided with vouchers in the denominations of 50 US dollars, 100 US dollars and 250 US dollars. The vouchers were used to purchase necessities such as food and hygiene products. Three suppliers, two in Antigua and one in Barbuda, were contracted to provide the supplies between May 1 and 24, 2018.
Director of NODS, Mr. Philmore Mullin said that the Project ran smoothly and the NODS was able to successfully distribute vouchers to the 270 beneficiaries. He also expressed gratitude to CDEMA for spearheading this initiative.
A beneficiary, Maritza Crogman, shared “The hurricane was very hard for me. I lost everything. My grandson and family suffered from the trauma. They do not want to go back to Barbuda. The voucher programme is helpful to me at the moment. It is a good idea”.
Similarly, another beneficiary, Salome Deazle also offered positive feedback, stating “I was impacted by Irma. I lost my home which was the rental I lived in. I can’t go back because I have three children so I am renting a house in Antigua for the time being. The Voucher Programme has been very good, we are very thankful because right now we are not getting paid and we have been shorting food sometimes, so it comes in handy. We are thankful for the help and as much help as we can get as possible”.
The successful implementation of the Legacy Project would not have been possible without funding and the unwavering support of the donor community including; regional and international governments, development partners, the private sector, NGOs, citizens within the Region, the Caribbean Diaspora, and all over the world.
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