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USAID has awarded a contract to CARANA Corporation for the implementation of a project for business sector recovery in Grenada. Through this project, CARANA will implement a rapid-response, intensive program of action to help return the island’s economy to productive status.

The project is an outgrowth of the U.S. government’s response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ivan in September. Ivan, one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the Caribbean region in 10 years, caused immense damage as it passed over the island. Over 80% of Grenada’s population was directly affected by the storm that damaged or destroyed over 80% of the buildings – businesses and residences – on the island. Most of Grenada’s key traditional cash crops have been destroyed, including much of its renowned nutmeg industry. The tourism sector is almost entirely shut down. A survey of companies show direct employment down by as much as 40%. Sales are off by 80%.

The project will deliver technical services for (1) hospitality and construction skills training, (2) technical assistance and grants to small and medium Grenadian businesses, (3) increasing production of local and traditional cash crops, and (4) revitalization of the fisheries industry. GBAR will work principally through grants to local non-governmental institutions and training institutions, and grants of money and technical assistance to micro, small, and medium businesses. As the situation from an employment standpoint is particularly dire, every effort will be made to return the island’s businesses to operating status as rapidly as possible.

GBAR is part of a larger Grenada recovery program financed by USAID that will also encompass housing, community, and schools reconstruction and revitalization. Each component has been designed to implement rapidly with all work being completed by the end of 2005. Grenada is one of three countries in the Caribbean (along with Jamaica and Haiti) to be allotted a portion of a total of $100 million in funds provided by the U.S. Congress to be administered by USAID.

We are very pleased to have been entrusted with this important assignment to assist the Government and people of Grenada in their recovery process.

[Posted December 2004]