The UN has begun assessing damage in the eastern Caribbean region, which was hit hardest by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and needless to say the news is not so good:

The recovery of eastern Caribbean islands hardest hit by recent hurricanes could cost up to $1 billion, according to a senior UN official .

Dominica, Barbuda, the Turks and Caicos, the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla were battered by some of the strongest storms the region has seen.

“It’s going to be a large-scale rebuilding effort that will take time,” said Stephen O’Malley, the UN resident coordinator for Barbados and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.

“And it will be important to do that right.”

He told UN correspondents in a phone briefing from Dominica that “we don’t have exact figures yet,” but for the worst-affected islands the recovery bill will be “half a billion to a billion dollars.”

It’s unsurprising that the bill is no high. Most of the islands named above have suffered extreme damage, such as the Turks & Caicos, or been outright destroyed like Barbuda and Dominica. The rebuilding process is going to take years in these places, even if plenty of money is available.

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In another article, the prime minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, warned his people that they have “many, many months of sacrifice and struggle” ahead of them.

 
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