JIS News

The Government of Jamaica will be providing $2.6 billion for Hurricane Dean recovery and reconstruction activities for the remainder of the 2007/08 fiscal year.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, in his first statement as Minister in the House of Representatives on (Oct. 2), said that financing for the recovery effort will comprise a mix of resources, with $965 million to come from multilateral grants; $214.2 million from bilateral grants; $217 million from local grants; and $1.2 billion from multilateral loans.
“To the extent that the Government can obtain additional grants during the fiscal year, the utilization of multilateral loans will be reduced to lessen the impact on the fiscal targets,” he stated.
In the meantime, Minister Shaw informed that the total damage done to the country has been estimated at $23 billion. Of this amount, total loss to the private sector is $16 billion, while damage to the public sector is set at $7 billion.
The agriculture sector suffered estimated loss of $3.7 billion, with domestic crops accounting for $904 million of that amount. During the current fiscal year, the Government will contribute $260 million to the recovery of this sector through the provision of seeds, fertilizer, fruit tree crop assistance, and support for the banana, coffee and fisheries industries.
In addition, Mr. Shaw informed the House that the Government will provide $490 million for the recovery of the transport and works sector, where loss is estimated at $2.2 billion.
In terms of education, $558 million will be spent to repair schools for the financial year. The education sector is estimated to have incurred $773 million in damage as a result of the passage of Hurricane Dean. Another $150 million has been set aside to carry out repairs on public buildings.
Commenting on welfare, Mr. Shaw said that $182 million has been allotted for 91,000 families under the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) and another $187 million in relief supplies to persons, who suffered losses as a result of the hurricane.
Hurricane Dean passed close to Jamaica in August of this year resulting in island-wide damage and loss to various sectors of the economy.
Minister Shaw indicated that the recovery programme will continue into the 2008/09 fiscal year.

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