Gov’t To Write UNDP Over ‘Bureaucratic Hurdles’ To Barbuda Recovery

UNDP repaired roofs with funding from China

The government of Antigua & Barbuda is blaming “bureaucratic hurdles” of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the state of readiness for a hurricane on Barbuda.

NODS reportedly told the Cabinet that Barbuda is less-well prepared than it could be, because of the slowness in repairing the buildings in Codrington that were damaged during Hurricane Irma.

UNDP has been managing international funds donated to Antigua & Barbuda for hurricane recovery following Irma.

The government says UNDP is placing hurdles in the way of competent contractors, such that after having received US $1,000,000 from the Government of India for the repair of the Hanna Thomas Hospital and other structures, nearly two years ago, not one penny has yet been spent on the object of the donation.

As a consequence, the Cabinet took a decision to write to UNDP, ordering that agency to suspend the burdensome requirements that have been imposed, seemingly to foreclose local firms from succeeding at winning the bid for the contract to repair the hospital.

“Even the largest construction company in Antigua—Roberts Construction Company—has encountered the same burdensome requirements set by UNDP. Without the suspension of the requirements, Antigua’s largest construction company—that has built many multi-million dollar buildings—could be foreclosed from the Barbuda hospital contract, now worth less than $1 million dollars. The UNDP deducts a percentage of the contribution as a fee before any work gets done,” Chief of Staff Lionel Max Hurst said in Cabinet notes.

The entire nation has been informed of the threat which Hurricane Jerry may pose, should it pass over or close to Barbuda and/or Antigua within the next 48 hours. The NODS reported that Antigua is well-prepared.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for Barbuda and the government says at least three large buildings are sufficiently strengthened to provide shelter during a hurricane, for those who may still be living under precarious conditions.

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  1. After listening to the NODS director on VOP today I would give an opinion that no disaster agency that is tied to a government that is nationally and internationally known for corruption is going to be able to function for the betterment of the people in any shape form or fashion. IMO NODS should be completely independent of govt. ministers and tied to and monitored by a reputable/recognized overseas disaster organization. Mr. Mullin kept mentioning words to the effect that plans are there or being discussed to fix and build etc. Any person with the power of reason will know (and especially so the Barbudans) that there is hardly a chance in hell that anything will come to fruition and whatever items or monies anyone is stupid enough to donate to said agency has a questionable chance of being used for actual disaster repair or readiness. One really has to wonder if the stated “bureaucratic hurdles” and holding back of monies from India might not be due to distrust of those involved and/or wanting to be involved locally.

  2. In my humble opinion, if I was running the government, I would note write nobody. THEY SOWED IN THE WIND. LET THEM REAP IN THE WHIRL-WIND. Karma is real.

  3. I was made aware that both of those “contractors” are in fact fronts. And one of them could not produce legitimate paperwork to the satisfaction of UNDP,also that one of them had sectioned off a part of the hospital for personal living quarters whilst gutting the rest of the hospital so it could not be used.
    But more concerning than that would be to ask a few obvious questions such as, why isn’t there a UNDP office in Barbuda?.
    Is there a senior UNDP official on the ground?.
    And what have UNDP turned a blind eye to which allowed the PM to assume he can rise above international protocol?.

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