Press release

Foreign Office Minister visits BVI to review hurricane preparedness

Minister of State for the Overseas Territories Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon visited the British Virgin Islands to see the impact of UK support for recovery efforts following hurricanes Irma and Maria.

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Foreign Office Minister of State for the Overseas Territories Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon visited the British Virgin Islands between 31 July and 1 August to discuss hurricane preparedness and to see the progress on recovery since last year’s hurricanes.

During his visit, the Minister visited sites affected by last year’s hurricanes, including a school, a hurricane shelter, the Fire Service headquarters and a police station. He saw how UK support is helping the islands’ recovery efforts, and he handed over the purpose-built temporary Court House to the Government. This new UK-funded building will allow the Supreme Court and Magistrates’ Court to function fully again whilst a permanent building is constructed.

Lord Ahmad visited RFA Mounts Bay, which will remain in the region throughout the hurricane season to provide rapid assistance to Caribbean islands if needed. He also met the board of the Recovery and Development Agency to hear how they plan to implement further vital recovery work.

Foreign Office Minister of State for the Overseas Territories, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon said:

The UK has played a crucial role in assisting the region to recover from last year’s unprecedented and devastating hurricanes, providing aid and support to help British Overseas Territories.

However, there is still more to be done before the islands fully recover and the UK stands ready to help. We are working with partners across the Caribbean to make sure that plans are being put in place to prepare for future hurricanes.

Lord Ahmad held talks with Premier Orlando Smith and the Cabinet to discuss their concerns about the UK’s Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act as well as meeting members of the financial services industry to hear their views. The Minister also met with business and tourism representatives during his visit.

This visit to BVI follows an earlier tour of the region by the Minister in May to the Cayman Islands, Montserrat and Anguilla.

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Published 7 August 2018