Work is ongoing on the selection of homes to be repaired under the European Union funded Barbuda Housing Recovery Project
St. John’s, Antigua – The Government of Antigua and Barbuda signed a 5 million Euros Financing Agreement with the European Union in July 2018 to support the recovery of Barbuda after the devastation wrecked by Hurricane Irma in 2017. The Financing Agreement also recognized the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as the implementing Agency for the 24-month housing project in Barbuda. It will be recalled that following the 2017 hurricane, the UNDP ramped up its presence in the country by establishing a fully-fledged Project Office in Antigua and Barbuda.
As part of the preparatory phase of the project, a Beneficiary Selection Committee (BSC) consisting of national stakeholders has been established. The membership of the BSC includes the Office of the National Authorizing Officer (Chair), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs, Public Works Department, Development Control Authority, Barbuda Council, and National Office of Disaster Services. UNDP serves as technical advisor to the BSC. The Committee is tasked with selecting eligible beneficiaries based on a set of selection criteria. The project is designed to support 150 persons who suffered varying degrees of loss to their houses during the 2017 hurricane.
The eligibility criteria include inter alia, the level of damage to properties and the vulnerability of beneficiaries. Only homes requiring major repairs such as replacement of roofs and rafters (Level 3 classification) and those homes requiring complete rebuilding (Level 4 classification) are being considered.
However, cost implications of required repairs and the size of the property are some of the
significant determining factors for the homes considered for selection. The Beneficiary Selection Committee has continued to meet under the leadership of the Office of the NAO and is expected to conclude the first phase of its work in November 2018. A comprehensive list of all selected beneficiaries will be published by the ONAO to signify the end of the work of the Committee and commencement of actual project implementation by UNDP in anticipated for January 2019.
Selected beneficiaries will be given the opportunity to thoroughly consider the package of support under the project and to make their decisions regarding whether or not to accept the support being provided.
The UNDP will have primary responsibility for day to day management of the project including monitoring and quality assurance of the construction works.