ST JOHN’S, Antigua — Rebuilding Barbuda after Hurricane Irma will significantly stimulate the national economy with recovery projects generating ongoing financial benefit for suppliers and local employment gains, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the government of Antigua and Barbuda.
“The US$2 million Chinese-aid funded Roofing Restoration Initiative, fully restored roofs to 250 targeted homes on Barbuda during the six-month project with the purchase of roofing materials and many other products and services sourced locally and within the region, stimulating employment for builders and other sectors – as well as ongoing training for local contractors,” said UNDP Antigua and Barbuda’s head of office, Maureen Lance-Onyeiwu, on 2 July in Antigua at ‘Doing Business with UNDP’, a procurement fair to announce further recovery projects for crisis response, recovery and long-term resilience building in Barbuda, and how to participate.
UNDP will roll out another US$6 million of rebuilding projects, together with the government of Antigua and Barbuda, on behalf of the European Union, India Aid and other donors in the next 18 months building back better on Barbuda toward full recovery from the 2017 hurricane disaster.
The minister for agriculture, fisheries and Barbuda affairs, Dean Jonas, encouraged national contractors, vendors and service providers to engage actively with the UNDP procurement procedures to bid for contracts.
“It is very important for more local businesses to take part in further rebuilding projects, for the benefit of the Antigua and Barbuda national economy overall,” Jonas said at the Procurement Fair, together with NODS director Philmore Mullin – stressing that it is vital to understand the United Nations processes to compete.
“Participants at the procurement fair gained a common understanding of UNDP’s vision and work in Antigua and Barbuda, with the inputs from local stakeholders helping to enrich and tailor global processes and tools to local context,” Lance-Onyeiwu explained.
The interactive session was facilitated by officials from the UNDP Regional Procurement Hub in Panama. Procurement advisor, Alfonso Buxen, and procurement analyst, Johanna de Martinez, led the full-day workshop with over 20 local business representatives in attendance at the knowledge sessions on opportunities and systems to grow the local economy while rebuilding the nation.