(PRESS RELEASE) – World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim made the following statement as Hurricane Irma ripped through the Eastern Caribbean and continued its devastating path across the Caribbean Sea:
“Our sympathy and solidarity go to the people of the Eastern Caribbean and to all those who may still be affected by Hurricane Irma. We’ve reached out to the government of Antigua and Barbuda and offered immediate support to assess damages and loss, respond to the disaster and help begin recovery. Our staff on the ground in the Dominican Republic and Haiti are already working closely with the national agencies and development partners to improve preparedness and deliver a timely response.
It’s too early to know the full impact of the storm as the events are still unfolding. However, disasters like this remind us of the need to help countries build greater resilience against ever-more frequent shocks”.
Since 1980, nine countries in the Caribbean experienced a disaster event with an economic impact of over 50 percent of their annual GDP: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Saint Kitts and Nevis.
The World Bank is currently supporting Caribbean countries on disaster risk management and climate change adaptation with an active investment portfolio of US$383 million.