BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, NOVEMBER 6TH, 2017 (PRESS SEC) – St. Kitts and Nevis, the smallest country in the Western Hemisphere, gave ECD$2.5 million in relief aid, post-Hurricanes Irma and Maria, to several neighbouring islands. This was possible due to the Team Unity administration’s sound fiscal management of the country’s resources, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said last night during a packed Constituency #7 town hall meeting.
“The smallest independent country in the world was doing what [some] other countries with more resources could not do,” Prime Minister Harris said emphatically on Sunday, November 5th, 2017 at the Edgar T. Morris Primary School in Tabernacle.
The hurricane aid package for the affected islands totalling two and a half million dollars, which Cabinet approved on Friday, September 22nd, was just the latest example of Prime Minister Harris’ administration’s generosity and compassion toward our fellow neighbours.
The Team Unity Government paid out one million dollars to Dominica on September 15th, 2015 after Tropical Storm Erika caused floods and mudslides on the island of 72,000 people in late August 2015. Then, the Government paid out one hundred thousand US dollars to the Bahamas and three hundred thousand US dollars to Haiti after Hurricane Matthew made landfall there in October 2016.
“While we were doing all those good deeds, we said we would introduce a third investment option – a Hurricane Relief Fund – [in September 2017] that would be operational for a period of six months under the Citizenship by Investment programme and take the form of a non-refundable contribution of US$150,000.00. This was to help us to repair the Police Training Complex. This was to help us to bring repairs to the fire station…This was to help us to fix back the Frigate Bay Development Corporation, where on the lower level our police station existed and after the hurricane it had been brought to nothingness,” the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis said last night.
The Honourable Prime Minister also said that, “This was to help us to repair the Washington Archibald High School, which sustained damages estimated at over $1 million. This was to help us to fix back the Old Road Fisheries Complex that sustained damages in excess of $2 million. This was to help us to bring relief to the people in St. Paul’s whom we visited. This was to help us to restore the Fisheries Cooperative Building in Dieppe Bay, which had been damaged structurally and needs to be rebuilt.”
In short, the Hurricane Relief Fund is yet another sign of the Team Unity Government’s prowess in managing its fiscal affairs. Just in July, for instance, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that St. Kitts and Nevis’ debt-to-GDP ratio would fall below the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union’s debt-to-GDP target of 60% in 2018, “well ahead of other member states.” (Source: IMF Country Report No. 17/186, July 2017)