On September 6, 2017, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) suffered extensive damage and widespread devastation from the passage of Hurricane Irma. The territory was further impacted by Hurricane Marie on September 20, 2017. These hurricanes followed the torrential rainfall event over the period August 7 and 8, 2017. All social and economic sectors suffered substantial impacts due to these events. Essential services such as health, social services, telecommunications, electricity, water, sewerage and waste management systems were, and continue to be, severely compromised.
The Government of the British Virgin Islands (GOBVI) applied to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for financing for a project to assist in the recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction of social and economic infrastructure to overcome the cumulative damaging effects. The scope of the Project will include, among other things, the rehabilitation and reconstruction of critical social and economic infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewerage, docks, schools, education and other public buildings. Also included in the scope are: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment for various sectors and school supplies, provision of technical assistance for a climate risk and vulnerability assessment, design and contract supervision services, and psychosocial support to targeted groups. Implementation of the Project will be led by a Project Coordinator assigned by the Project Unit in the Ministry of Finance. Oversight of the recovery activities is being provided by a multi-sectoral Recovery Task Force which is chaired by the Chair of the Disaster Recovery Coordinating Committee and the Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office. The GOBVI has requested the services of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support the timely implementation of the Project.
UNDP will support three (3) key elements of the Project:
Project Management: project site visits; liaise with stakeholders; verify conformance; prepare and update annual and quarterly work plans; oversee the conduct of services by assigned specialists and consultants; ensure appropriate adoption of standards and codes for infrastructure and equipment etc.
Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Support: preparation and/or review of Terms of Reference and Technical Specifications; review of evaluation and qualification criteria among others; targeted and broad publication; request for clarifications, evaluation of offers/proposals; preparation of evaluation report etc.
Tailored Support for Improved Fiduciary Management: technical advice on cost control; separate accounts for project-related expenditures and disbursement activities; expedite the submission and processing of claims for disbursement etc. (all at the request of the GOBVI)