Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organisation of American States (OAS), Ronald Sanders, met yesterday with the Inter-American Emergency Aid Committee and representatives of major countries to discuss the devastating impact on Barbuda by the recent passage of Hurricane Irma.
Sanders made some “emotive presentations to the representatives of both groups who were visibly moved by a video presentation of the destruction of Barbuda and the evacuation of all its residents to Antigua,” according an Antigua and Barbuda Government statement.
The Emergency Aid Committee included the Pan American Development Fund, the Inter-American Defence Board, the Pan American Health Organisation and the Inter-American Committee on Agriculture.
Major countries at the second meeting included Italy, Japan, Monaco, the EU, the United States, France, Spain and Switzerland, the statement said.
Sanders described the present situation in Barbuda as “uninhabitable”, including the possibility of disease resulting from dead animals and unclean water infiltration.
He said that Antigua and Barbuda has a US$1 billion economy “but is facing a rebuilding cost of in excess of US$250 million.”
The statement noted that donor countries pointed out that, “in order for Barbuda to face up to future storms of this kind, it would have to be rebuilt differently and to higher standards that could resist hurricanes.”