#TurksandCaicos, May 10, 2018 – Providenciales – Forty business operators from Turks and Caicos Islands last week began to receive hurricane recovery grants as part of a wider effort to help rebuild and sustain the economy of the Islands through support to businesses most impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Under a UNDP-supported project led by the country office in Kingston, Jamaica, the 40 grants valued at a total US$ 40,000 were disbursed over the period 4-8 May 2018. UNDP has partnered with the Centre for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) in TCI to facilitate the administration of the grants specifically to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Recognizing the role played by small businesses in the TCI economy and the many small families dependent on the quick recovery of these businesses, UNDP found it prudent to put its support behind recovery assistance to MSMEs, UNDP Resident Representative Bruno Pouezat has emphasized.
The 40 micro grants will support structural repairs and replacement of inventory for MSMEs, 22 of which are owned by women. Grantees include pest control companies, farmers, fishermen, taxis, schools, restaurants, manufacturers, vacation rentals and retail establishments in TCI.
The 40 grantees are also a part of a group of 60 MSMEs who will participate in all-island Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Contingency Planning workshops which are also funded by UNDP and coordinated by the CED in partnership with the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME). The workshops will be delivered by mid-May and are designed to strengthen the resilience of MSMEs in responding to natural disasters. CED Director Mrs. Sophia Thomas remarked that “the training was certainly timely, relevant and empowered participants with the tools to assist MSMEs. CED is certainly grateful to UNDP and the other partnerships on this initiative that would eventually make our clients more resilient to natural disasters.”
Support for the training will be provided by 15 representatives of the Turks and Caicos Island Government (TCIG) who participated in a three day Training of Trainers Workshop last week in Providenciales. Participants included representatives from DDME, the CED, District Commissioners, Red Cross, Ministry of Agriculture and teachers. The training was delivered by Jacinda Fairholm, Regional DRR Advisor in UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Feedback on the training was positive, according to the workshop facilitators. One participant anonymously indicated, “I intend to use the training to help communities to develop their plans and understand how planning for disaster and risk reduction can save money and gain them a greater peace of mind in event of impacts”. Another participant wrote: “I will definitely apply it to my department in creating a contingency plan and extend it to businesses in my community”.
The UNDP country office’s support to TCI’s post hurricane recovery effort also includes the creation of a Debris and Waste Management Plan comprising medium to long-term management and recycling strategies and support to Government’s disaster recovery and resilience plans.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria passed over the Turks and Caicos Islands in September 2017, severely damaging the islands of South Caicos, Grand Turk and Salt Cay.
The UNDP country office in Kingston serves Jamaica, Bermuda, The Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands.