It has been almost a year and a half since Hurricane Irma struck the island of Barbuda, damaging 96% of houses and displacing 1,625 people. 155 businesses were forced to shut down, 463 children were left without a school, and 405 vital fishing traps were lost in the fishing-reliant community. However, in this time the people of Barbuda have proved to be strong and resilient in rebuilding their communities.
The Barbuda Resilience Fund at the International Community Foundation (ICF) continues to support sustainable development projects to develop a strong and resilient Barbuda. To date over $500,000 has been invested in home reconstruction and repair, transportation, education, and job creation. Now, as we transition from recovery to resilience, ICF is working with local leadership to continue to advance sustainable development efforts and grow local capacity.
As we approached the start of another grant cycle earlier this year, the ICF team visited Barbuda to meet with local government and to visit 11 sites with community leaders. During the visits we learned of the ongoing challenges and sucesses of rebuilding homes, engaging youth, cleaning up the estuary to bring back wildlife and restore mangroves. The Barbudan community knows what they want and what they need for the wellbeing of their families.
Over the next year, ICF will work directly with local leaders and local government to support the work of the Barbudan community. This year's grant cycle will deploy over $200,000 to 12 community created and led projects that continue to advance and strengthen the community of Barbuda. These projects include reparation of critical water sources, youth engagement, food security, and support to small local businesses.
To date, donors through GlobalGiving have donated over $11,000 to this amazing cause. And we have been able to grow that money. We greatly appreciate your support to the island of Barbuda.