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Some 1,074 People Get Disaster Aid In British Virgin Islands From Red Cross And Other Relief Organizations

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ROAD TOWN, Tortola — One thousand and seventy four households have benefited from the financial assistance program led by the BVI Red Cross and Caritas Antilles with the support of the Government of the British Virgin Islands.

The program received financial support of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA), and is now complete.

The assistance exceeded the initial target of 24 families post Hurricanes Irma and Maria disasters. Some 3,531 individuals benefited from the financial assistance of the 1,074 registered households which is (nearly 12 percent of the population of the BVI).

Households received three disbursements ranging from $800 to $1200 each depending on the number of members in each household. Overall, more than $3,190,000 have been distributed, and is now benefiting the local economy.

The household selection process was based on the household income, employment status and damage to the home. Priority was given to larger households, single headed households, households with children under five or elderly over 65, and households with members with a disability or severe health problems.

According to a survey done with 7% of recipients at the beginning of January this year, 97.5 percent of the households who received assistance were satisfied with the program. Additionally, 78.5 percent of the people indicated that the amount allocated was sufficient in meeting their basic needs such as food, water, rent, transportation, communication and household items. The cash distribution also allowed flexibility for households to spend money on their specifics needs.

There were over 12 different categories recorded for the use of the grant, inclusive of rent, education, household repairs and paying debts.

Red Cross volunteers also reported that the recipients have shown extreme gratitude for the help received.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Petrona Davies and the participating partners said they are satisfied to know that the grant distributed had a positive impact and helped families to better afford basic needs and assist in their recovery efforts following the hurricanes.

Persons interested in finding out more details about the Financial Assistance Program and its results are asked to contact the BVI Red Cross at or the BVIRedCross Facebook page.

Residents who are still experiencing financial hardships can contact the Ministry of Health and Social Development at 468-3650 or 468-3636 for more information on getting assistance.

“The Ministry of Health and Social Development aspires to provide a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates the recovery of human development and quality of life in the British Virgin Islands,” it said.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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