Disaster Management Foreign Affairs 

UK “Must” Pledge Long-Term Support for Barbuda after Hurricane Irma – PM Demands

The UK Government must do more to help Barbuda rebuild for the long term after Hurricane Irma, Labour says after a meeting with the Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, Shadow International Development Secretary Kate Osamor and Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott MP met Prime Minister Browne and High Commissioner Karen-Mae Hill on Monday to get an update on the latest situation on the island.

Barbuda was entirely evacuated after the hurricane in September and requires $250 million to rebuild its infrastructure. In the longer term, it needs support to develop resilience to the impact of climate change.

The meeting comes after Kate Osamor visited Antigua and met Prime Minister Browne last month.

Prime Minister Browne said that he was very pleased with the response he received from the Labour Pary Leader in the United Kingdom and indicated that he hopes that these views receive the entire backing of the members of government and parliament in the UK.

“We had an excellent meeting.  We share a common empathy for the working class and are committed to building inclusive, egalitarian, well governed and just societies.  I welcome his kind advocacy, urging Britain to contribute more for the rebuilding of Barbuda,” said Prime Minister Browne.

“Barbuda was devastated by Hurricane Irma but the response from our Government was painfully slow. I was pleased to welcome the Prime Minister and High Commissioner to discuss what more needs to be done.

“The UK must provide the help Barbuda needs to rebuild now and for the long term. And we must face up to the reality of climate change and the impact it is having around the world, particularly on small island states,” pointed out Mr. Corbyn.

Prime Minister Browne passed through the United Kingdom on Monday on his way to Bonn, Germany for the 23 Conference of Parties (COP23).

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