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Gov’t spent $57.4M in unbudgeted COVID-19 expenses so far - Premier Fahie

- Health Ministry received $8.6M single lions share allocations
The COVID-19 pandemic in the Virgin Islands (VI) has so far cost the territory a whopping $57.4 million in direct expenses that were not initially budgeted for in 2020, VI Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has revealed. Photo: GIS/File
$1 million was diverted to developing an insurance initiative to be undertaken by the BVI Social Security Board and a further $1M for other social needs related to COVID-19. Photo: VINO/File
$1 million was diverted to developing an insurance initiative to be undertaken by the BVI Social Security Board and a further $1M for other social needs related to COVID-19. Photo: VINO/File
Another $1M was diverted to fund a Transportation initiative for the City of Road Town from Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport to approved quarantine areas in Tortola and on the Sister Islands, Hon Fahie said. Photo: Internet Source
Another $1M was diverted to fund a Transportation initiative for the City of Road Town from Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport to approved quarantine areas in Tortola and on the Sister Islands, Hon Fahie said. Photo: Internet Source
The single greatest share of funding was an $8.6 million allocation to the Ministry of Health and Social Development which included a grant of $8.1 million to the BVI Health Services Authority for precautionary measures relating to COVID-19. Photo: VINO/File
The single greatest share of funding was an $8.6 million allocation to the Ministry of Health and Social Development which included a grant of $8.1 million to the BVI Health Services Authority for precautionary measures relating to COVID-19. Photo: VINO/File
DUFF'S BOTTOM, Tortola, VI – The COVID-19 pandemic in the Virgin Islands (VI) has so far cost the territory a whopping $57.4 million in direct expenses that were not initially budgeted for in 2020, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has revealed.

During the Budget Address on Thursday, November 12, 2020, Premier Fahie said assistance to meet this unanticipated expenditure was derived mostly from the $40M grant from the Social Security Board (SSB).

Financial blow

Coupled with a loss in revenue from the VI’s tourism sector, a major contributor to monies in the VI economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has delivered a huge financial blow to the territory, even as the pandemic is still going.

“Your Government’s COVID-19 strategy was not restricted to [the] containment of the virus and treatment of infected persons," the Premier said, adding that "The strategy also included social considerations such as ensuring that persons had suitable housing given the devastations from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.”

He said there was also a need to provide economic stimulus to local businesses in addition to making investments in job creation and food security.

Cost Breakdown

The 2020 COVID-19 expenses so far included $2 million to cover Food Production grants in Agriculture and Fisheries and $6.5 million in grants to local businesses affected by COVID-19.

A total of $1M was spent on stimulus grants to hotels and villas participating in Government’s COVID-19 quarantine programme and $9M for housing repairs, materials, labour and reconstruction assistance to homes damaged by the 2017 catastrophic hurricanes.

$1 million was diverted to developing an insurance initiative to be undertaken by the BVI Social Security Board and a further $1M for other social needs related to COVID-19.

Churches got share of a $1M grant

Day Cares, Private Schools, Churches, and other religious organisations received $1M in support funding.

Another $1M was diverted to fund a Transportation initiative from Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island to approved quarantine areas in Tortola and on the Sister Islands, Hon Fahie said.

$7.5M went in support of the National Health Insurance programme (NHI) and $3.9M was earmarked to provide assistance grants to individuals through District Representatives, which trickled down to some $300,000 per district.

$8.6M single lions share allocated to Health Ministry

The Premier said $2.8M went to the House-to-House Garbage Collection and Food Distribution programmes and $2.99M for Contingency Funding to the Ministry of Health for precautionary measures relating to COVID-19.

$4M went to infrastructure works related to managing the national sewerage distribution system.

Another $4M was also spent on accommodations for returning residents during the phased re-opening.

However, and not surprisingly, the single greatest share was an $8.6 million allocation to the Ministry of Health and Social Development, which included a grant of $8.1 million to the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) for precautionary measures relating to COVID-19.

20 Responses to “Gov’t spent $57.4M in unbudgeted COVID-19 expenses so far - Premier Fahie”

  • Strupes (16/11/2020, 18:09) Like (3) Dislike (11) Reply
    All them island people ayo feed mahn
    • @strupes (17/11/2020, 04:20) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Still begging for hits? You are sicker than previously thought. I hope you have no children or is not working around any.
      • Jack and Jill (19/11/2020, 05:53) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
        @ strupes instead of bashing island people for no reason. Just come out and say what you want if you are a big boy or girl. Clearly, its an Island man or woman you want and this your way to say it and to hopefully get one....good try but let me help you. Just be brave and say"" I want an Island man or woman if you are available ( use a code) to get in touch with you. It's that easy. Good luck!!!!


    • Hmm (17/11/2020, 10:04) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Down island ppl stress will kill you!!
  • Ghost (16/11/2020, 19:11) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    Hon. Premier I understand this and I applaud your efforts, but I’m wondering why more Ventilators were not bought. (Though praying that when our borders are fully open demon-x virus cases doesn’t surge)..we tend to be a reactive country rather than being proactive, but I hope we are learning that it’s best to be the latter.. at times I feel like we waste monies on things that are not urgently needed such as the 3 commercial warehouses Hon. Kye Rymer is constructing in Hunthum’s Ghut for new businesses. perhaps someone can tell me how in this time this is of Great importance.. (in my opinion-wasted tax payers monies “right now”) ..
  • tola (16/11/2020, 19:12) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    People still ain't get nothing people who really need wow
  • NICK (16/11/2020, 19:15) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    Anad still only 8 venatilators!.
  • Heckler (16/11/2020, 19:26) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    How much did the cookie monster eat?
  • Wow (16/11/2020, 20:11) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    54M in a few months on what. Shit inflation
  • aiR (16/11/2020, 20:56) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
    That $57 million could have easily built a new runway.
  • PReal (16/11/2020, 21:57) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    54 million they spend on covid-19 but aint spending on farmers smh. If they could spend that much on a bullshit virus with a high ass recovery rate they could afford to give out crown land.
  • PReal (16/11/2020, 22:01) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    But big up the government for keeping us informed always and trying their best in such a hectic time.
  • for what (16/11/2020, 22:13) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    What was it used for??? Why are you guys not helping the poor people. Laid off workers are not getting anything from SSB and because they have no $$ to pay their water bills the best thing you could do was to cut their water how compasionate.
  • please (17/11/2020, 08:15) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    What are the protocols for opening in less than two weeks?
  • Comments (17/11/2020, 08:59) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why everything with this government got to be in the millions and why these truck man still going around and collecting garbage when the crew few have be lifted I guest that how we BVI waist tax payers money
  • taxman (17/11/2020, 09:00) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    If Premier Fahie wants to dispel the Governor's claims of corruption, perhaps he should provide a breakdown of how the $57m was spent and which individuals have ultimately benefitted from it
  • 1Mil Churchs (17/11/2020, 09:52) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    I understand daycares and schools getting grants.... by why 1 million to churches? curious to see which ones got this grant money....


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