The European Union continues to assist St. Lucia following the heavy rains in December 2013 that caused tremendous infrastructure damage. On 26 April EU Ambassador Mikael Barfod signed a EC$19 million (Euro 6.2 million) financing agreement with St. Lucia’s Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony that will go towards the construction of a new bridge critical to river crossing on the west coast, as well as reconstruction of a road along the west coast corridor.
The work will be undertaken through indirect management by the World Bank and will be aligned to the US$68 million, Disaster Vulnerability Project, which the government of St. Lucia has been implementing.
Ambassador Mikael Barfod commented:
“This support demonstrates the EU’s commitment to the reconstruction of St. Lucia at a time with economic challenges for the country. It also further underscores the EU’s solidarity with the Caribbean, which we recognise as one of the most vulnerable regions in the world.”
The trough system which affected the country on 24 and 25 December produced extraordinary heavy rains, with more than 224 mm of rain recorded in a two to three hour period.
The damage and loss assessment conducted by the Word Bank afterwards estimated the destruction as a result of the floods at EC$266 million (US$99.3 million), equivalent to 9.9 per cent of the country’s GDP.
This present support is being provided in addition to earlier assistance of EC$1.4 million (400,000 Euro) of emergency humanitarian aid by the EU to St. Lucia immediately after the storm.