Both the United States and the United Kingdom have sent a total of approximately 200 guards and armed forces to assist the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force in eradicating looting, crime and robberies which were out of control in the early phases of the post-Irma recovery. BVI Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith confirmed this information and thanked Britain and the USA for their prompt response.
Distribution centers are being activated in the various communities Territory-wide, although this poses its challenges such as undamaged premises and opportune security to discourage looters.
The Beef Island Airport is recovering and some commercial flights are expected to resume by this weekend (14-16 September). Guards and military security are deployed at the airport. Port Purcell is operative although with some limitations; it is also being used as a distribution center. Supermarkets are being supplied according to their schedule and needs – according to reliable sources there is no indication of shortages.
ATMs are working and three of the four banks have resumed their service to the community, while ScotiaBank is receiving assistance for its reactivation.BVI Financial Services, including Registry are running. Gas stations serve motorists and fuel shortage is not expected. All the local radio stations are back on the air.
The Government of the Virgin Islands is helping to coordinate the evacuation of CARICOM nationals to their respective countries. CARICOM nationals who would like to leave the Territory are asked to register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the BVI Red Cross between the hours of 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The following information will be required: name, country of destination, passport number and contact information. Priority will be given to the following categories of persons: elderly, disabled, persons with chronic conditions, persons with young children and pregnant women. CARICOM countries include the following: Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Monserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, The Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Territory’s leader has assured that the BVI’s financial services sector is secure. Premier Smith said, “Within our financial services, we have built a certain amount of resiliency, that when things like this happen we can still carry on with our financial services from the point of view of the Registry.”
He added, “We have really good communication and corporation with the other islands and centres, particularly Bermuda and Cayman Islands and I believe that we are in a good position where that is.” Premier Smith further added, “We just need the cooperation of all of the corporate service providers to work with us, and work with the Financial Services Commission, and BVI Finance so that we will be able to keep it together, and be able to continue to doing what we have to with the financial services industry.” #BVIStrong #OneBVI #StrongerTogether #WeAreRebuilding
Leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have pledged their support to the Territory’s relief and recovery efforts as they paid a courtesy visit to Tuesday, September 12, to the Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.