PADF, Royal Caribbean and Taiwan Launch Disaster Recovery Projects in the Eastern Caribbean

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 5, 2014) – With a generous donation from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Taiwan, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) launched disaster recovery projects at the request of the Eastern Caribbean nations St. Lucia, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in response to a Christmas Eve storm that caused extensive flooding and damage in these islands.  

This recovery effort, which is being implemented in collaboration with local development organizations, will help repair school infrastructure and purchase new office equipment, provide loans to affected small business owners, and help rehabilitate the agricultural sector by supporting farmers.

“These initiatives come at a critical time when affected residents need a lot of support to recover from this disaster and start rebuilding their communities and livelihoods,” said Liza Mantilla, Director of Disaster Management at PADF.

All three sister islands were hit by torrential downpours and strong winds generated by an unseasonal low-level trough system that occurred over a 24-hour period from Christmas Eve to Christmas day. The storm caused flash flooding, landslides, and destroyed vital infrastructure and buildings. Most affected were vulnerable populations and lower-income groups as a result of the extensive damage to homes, small businesses, schools, farms, roads, and other essential infrastructure and services.

Working in coordination and collaboration with international agencies and, at the request of local disaster authorities, and other relevant public, private and non-profit entities, PADF assessed the situation and humanitarian need. Based on those findings, the Foundation together with local officials developed distinct recovery activities with funding from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Taiwan, and local partners in order to more effectively assist local residents. These activities include:

St. Lucia
PADF is teaming up with The Soufriere Foundation, a local non-governmental organization (NGO), to assist nine schools by purchasing equipment (printer, fans, and photocopiers) and repairing infrastructure (walls, windows, water tanks, flooring, gutters, and canopies) that sustained damage during the floods. The assistance will benefit more than 1,700 infant, primary, and secondary school children and 130 teachers in District 8 in the Canaries/Soufriere region.

Dominica
PADF is working with the National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD) and the Dominica Office of Disaster Management (ODM), channeling donated funds to provide emergency loans to small business owners who have suffered loss of property and/or commercial activity due to the floods. The assistance will help beneficiaries restore their livelihoods as well as access formal banking sector resources.  PADF is targeting 80-120 small business owners/farmers with microloans ranging from 1,000-$2,000.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines
In partnership with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), PADF will implement an Early Recovery program aimed at rehabilitating the agricultural sector and targeting vulnerable populations. IICA has committed to matching the funds donated by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Taiwan in order to revive vegetable production on small farms, improve economic outlook, and directly impact rural livelihoods, benefitting approximately 50 families.

“By restoring infrastructure, supporting business owners, and ensuring that no jobs are lost as a result of this disaster, we are demonstrating that public-private partnerships remain a key part of improving the quality of life of people in the region. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is proud to support PADF’s disaster recovery efforts in the region and is eager to continue leading the way for private sector involvement in disaster management and sustainable development across the Americas,” said Federico González-Denton, Director of Government Relations in Latin America, Caribbean & Asia, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

About PADF
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization, is the non-profit foundation of the Organization of American States (OAS), established in 1962 to implement integral socio-economic development programs for disadvantaged people, to strengthen civil society and community groups in support of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and to aid victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. In 2013, PADF reached more than 10.2 million people in 22 countries, executing grants from public and private partners and promoting corporate social responsibility. Headquartered in Washington DC, PADF has field offices in Belize, Colombia, Haiti, Honduras, and Suriname, and projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. www.padf.org

About Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE, OSE: RCL) is a global cruise vacation company that owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises and CDF Croisières de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture.  Together, these
six brands operate a combined total of 41 ships with an additional six under construction contracts.  They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on approximately 490 destinations on all seven continents.  Additional information can be found on www.royalcaribbean.com, www.celebritycruises.com, www.pullmantur.es, www.azamaraclubcruises.com, www.cdfcroisieresdefrance.com or www.rclinvestor.com.

About Taiwan
Taiwan has emerged as a major contributor of natural disaster assistance and expertise across the globe and is expanding its efforts to the disaster-prone Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. PADF has entered into an Agreement with Taiwan aimed at facilitating emergency humanitarian relief, disaster recovery and reconstruction, and disaster preparedness and mitigation programs across the region through partnerships with LAC countries, national disaster authorities, the private sector and local NGOs. Given Taiwan’s successful history in implementing development, democracy, and disaster assistance programs in Asia and globally, Taiwan’s disaster assistance approaches are vital to advancing humanitarian aid in the LAC region.