Theresa May pledges £70m in aid for hurricane-hit British territories

Posted On: 
27th November 2017

Theresa May will today pledge £70 million of taxpayers' money to help rebuild British islands in the Caribbean left devastated by hurricanes earlier this year.

Some of the damage in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma battered the region.
Credit: 
PA Images

The cash, to be provided over the next three years, is on top of the £92m the UK has already contributed to the aid effort.

It is also in addition to £300m of UK loan guarantees so the territories can gain access to much-needed finance.

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Mrs May will announce the British aid effort at the meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council, which is made up of the leaders of the 11 British overseas territories.

Hundreds of millions of pounds worth of damage was caused to the islands by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The Prime Minister said: "I am pleased to welcome leaders of the Overseas Territories to Downing Street, as they begin regular consultations with their counterparts in the UK government. I see this as a mark of the strong and enduring partnership that exists between us.

"This set of meetings is not only a chance to work together on our shared priorities, but also to hear directly from those territories who suffered from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

"This new £70 million package of support demonstrates the UK’s ongoing commitment to help its Overseas Territories as they get on with the difficult work of recovery."

A row broke out in September after it emerged that Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development rules meant that Britain could not use its aid budget to help the islands affected by the hurricanes because they were not classed as poor enough to qualify.

However, after lobbying by the Government, the rules have been changed to that the Department for International Development can provide direct assistance to the communities left devastated by the storms.