Envoy Says Antigua and Barbuda Will Rebuild From Irma

Overturned trailer homes are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma

Antigua was spared the worst when Hurricane Irma pummeled the northern Caribbean last week, but its sister isle Barbuda was left uninhabitable with about 95 per cent of structures either completely destroyed or severely damaged.

Browne backed the call by British billionaire Richard Branson - whose Necker Island resort was also ruined by the storm - for a Marshall Plan to help revitalize and rebuild the areas stricken by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean. Once a full assessment of the situation in Barbuda is complete, the foundation will then work with the Ministry of Education to address long-term needs such as assisting with school rebuilding projects on the island.

"The island has been totally evacuated".

This week, De Niro sat down exclusively with CNN's Poppy Harlow to talk about his connection to the now-decimated island paradise, which he first visited decades ago. The United States meanwhile is focused on assistance to Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands.

"It's just a attractive place, and it's quiet, and the people are nice", De Niro told Harlow. "We don't know what they need yet, it's too quick", Somerville says.

The location of the Island of Barbuda.

He said: "I have to tell you that we definitely can not afford it from domestic resources.We are hoping that friendly governments and global partners will step up to the plate and assist us..."

A release from the CARICOM Secretariat yesterday said that the touring delegation included Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), which is the CARICOM Institution coordinating the regional hurricane disaster response; and Captain Errington Shurland, Executive Director of the Regional Security System (RSS).

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Mr. McCleary Fredrick, Director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands has also been sent to Anguilla for two weeks to provide expertise along with the Anguillan disaster management team.

Barbuda today appears "like a winter scene without snow", Sanders said.

"We are a Caribbean company and these are our people".

Somerville says he intends on going to Barbuda himself once the island is habitable again to see how he can help. He urged as many countries as possible to help restore the life of Barbuda. De Niro and some of his personal friends have contributed.

Speaking to the BBC's Laura Bicker as the evacuation got underway, Mr Browne said that a rapid recovery and rebuild operation was unlikely.

"It is an out of the way island, it's relatively unknown and they don't have a great means to re-build", Somerville adds.

CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell of Grenada and Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque on Wednesday toured several hurricane- devastated islands and said an global donors conference will be convened to mobilise the "significant resources" required for the recovery effort.

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