By anguillian December 11, 2017 12:09 Updated




At a press conference in the Executive Council’s Chambers on Tuesday, December 5, the Governor, Mr. Tim Foy, and the Chief Minister, Mr. Victor Banks, told of how, through a team effort, they were able to get the UK Government to approve 60 of 70 million pounds sterling, the equivalent of EC$200 million, for Anguilla.
That was 60 million for Anguilla alone out of an overall new aid package of 70 million pounds approved for Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands following the recent extensive hurricane damage.
The occasion at which the money was approved was the Joint Ministerial Council – an annual conference of leaders from the Overseas Territories and British Government Ministers and other officials.
“The Chief and I were in London last week for the Joint Ministerial Council, and the Chief had a range of really quite important meetings with the Prime Minister – and finishing with Lord Ahmed where the issue of UK support to Anguilla in the immediate aftermath of Irma was discussed,” the Governor reported. “I think that the Chief was very persuasive, as he always is, and I think Anguilla made a very strong case. I am very pleased that the UK has been able to respond.”
“Thank you, Governor. It was a team effort,” Chief Minister Banks stated. “As we have always been saying, it is important that we are on the same page especially in times like these with the critical damage to Anguilla, the need for recovery, and the support from our administering power in the UK.”
Mr. Banks continued: “It was a visit that was very well prepared for…Shortly after the storm we made sure that we knew exactly what the priorities were, and what the strategy was to engage the British Government in ensuring that we got as much support as possible.”
He thought that “some very clear points had been made that Anguilla experienced a very extreme weather event unprecedented in the history of our region – and therefore it could not be business as usual.”
Mr. Banks was pleased that Prime Minister Theresa May had granted him and the leaders of the hurricane-affected territories, in particular, 50 minutes of her time. “At that meeting, she announced that there will be 70 million pounds in grants and 300 million pounds in guaranteed loans for the affected territories,” he said.
“The breakdown came after further discussions and Anguilla came out well. I think the message was that we were not in a position to take on any additional borrowing. As a result of that, Anguilla received 60 million pounds out of the 70 pounds that were available for grants. We also have an opportunity to participate in any loan request that qualifies us for the kind of support that is critical to the recovery effort.
“I think, at the end of the day, the message got out. We made the case; the British Government responded, and I am grateful to Lord Ahmed and Lord Bates who led the charge directly in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development. I think team Anguilla has a lot to be grateful for. I thank you (Governor Foy) for being a part of that team and making it happen.”
The 60 million pounds, or 200 million EC dollars, will mainly be used for the rebuilding of the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School, where a shift system is now in place and the Blowing Point Passenger Terminal as well as some of the work at the Clayton Lloyd International Airport.
The new package of 70 million dollars is in addition to money already provided to be shared among the territories affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria – as was previously announced.
In addition to Governor Foy and Chief Minister Banks, the rest of the Anguilla delegation to the Joint Ministerial Council were the Minister of Home Affairs, Mrs. Cora Richardson-Hodge; the Permanent Secretary, Finance, Dr. Aidan Harrigan; and the Government’s Sherpa, Mr. Fritz Smith, along with the Anguilla UK/EU Representative in London, Mrs. Blondel Cluff.

By anguillian December 11, 2017 12:09 Updated


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