The Hon Prime Minister, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, today made a number of announcements regarding decisions taken in his Cabinet this week. The Prime Minister called a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon where a few interventions discussed in Cabinet were revealed.
Cabinet has considered the formation of a bi-partisan post Maria consultative body which will be approved by a motion in Parliament. This new body will comprise three members of Parliament on the Government side and two on the Opposition. The aim of the body is to aid in steering the recovery of Dominica post Hurricane Maria.
The National Consultation to discuss Dominica’s recovery post Maria which was announced last year was also discussed and is set to take place on February 19, 2018. The forum is dubbed the National Rebuild and Economic Partnership Consultation. It will be chaired by the Hon Prime Minister.
Cabinet has also announced the creation of 1100 jobs for skilled and unskilled individuals who were made redundant because of Hurricane Maria. This programme will be distinct from the National Employment Programme and is slated to begin on March 1st, 2018. The Hon Prime Minister says that more details will be divulged about the programme early next week.
A new agency to replace the public support programme, frequently referred to as the red clinic, has also been formed. The Hon Prime Minister said the creation of this autonomous rapid response social recovery agency is to quickly address the urgent social needs of citizens.
An amount of EC$7.5 million has been allocated to the Ministry of Housing to assist with the repairs of homes damaged by Hurricane Maria. The funds will be allocated to village councils across the island to expedite reaching citizens. The programme is expected to start as early as next week, Hon Skerrit said.
Also, a regional firm contracted to assist with clean up arrived in Dominica with a massive fleet of heavy equipment on Wednesday. The Prime Minister says the primary focus of the fleet will be the dredging of rivers. Hon Skerrit says the fleet is expected to “descend on our rivers” as soon as tomorrow, Thursday, January 18.
And finally, all is in place for farmers to start receiving grants announced by the Ministry of Agriculture last November. An agreement is expected to be signed between Government and the AID Bank on Thursday; these funds will be disbursed through the AID Bank. 900 farmers will receive $10,000; 3032 farmers will receive $3,000 and 540 subsistence farmers will receive $1,000 each. These funds were made available with the support of the World Bank.
More details are anticipated on these in the weeks to come.