Almost five years after Hurricane Ike slammed the Turks and Caicos Islands leaving a trail of wreckage throughout the tiny island-chain, help is coming to those still in need.
Islanders needing to rebuild their properties are being invited to apply to a $6.5 million European fund for assistance.
The fund’s existence was announced Monday by the governor’s office in the British dependent territory. The bulk of the assistance is being donated by the European Development Fund with the Turks and Caicos government also making a small contribution. Ike severely struck the Turks and Caicos and several other Caribbean islands, including nearby Haiti, in 2008.
Up to 150 properties in the Turks and Caicos are expected to benefit from the fund, the governor’s office said in a news release. This includes the construction of more than two dozen homes that were destroyed in the storm, particularly in the islands of South Caicos, Salt Cay and Grand Turk, the capital. The three islands were identified as most in need by a U.N. task force
As part of the reconstruction and rehabilitation fund, the popular tourist haven will update its building codes to ensure that structures survive future storms.