Still much to be done

Cayman Islands government officials got a first-hand look at some of the Cayman Islands National Recovery Fund projects on a special tour marking the Fund’s second anniversary activities Tuesday.

Governor Stuart Jack with wife Mariko, along with members of the Legislative Assembly visited homes in Bodden Town and parts of George Town that remain in a severe state of disrepair since the passage of Ivan two years ago.

Many of the homes on the tour lacked fundamental amenities such as running water and electricity, proper roofing and exterior finishes.

Funded by both government and private donations, the Fund has raised over $10.2 million, primarily from the private sector, since its inception.

The organization has also been able to help many beneficiaries through hundreds of hours of manpower that have been donated by individual and corporate volunteers.

‘The Fund has been able to provide assistance to 800 families, tackling immediate drying in needs and replacing furniture,’ said Executive Director Mark Laskin.

But Mr. Laskin says the Fund’s efforts are only scratching the surface of meeting the needs of the Caymanian families the not-for profit organization is aware still require some form of assistance.

He said that while the Fund has fully repaired 35 homes on Grand Cayman, nearly two years after Ivan, at least 175 families are still waiting for repairs on their homes.

‘We are too rich an Island to have people living in these kinds of conditions,’ said Mr. Laskin. ‘We are here to offer a leg up from which they can then start to help themselves fully rebuild their lives.’

Mr. Laskin says that apart from repairing homes and rebuilding lives, the Fund’s role is to raise awareness of the disparities in Caymanian society.

‘We have several simultaneous societies happening in Cayman. It is our hope that all, and not just some, levels of society can benefit from the economic miracle that is Cayman today.’

The Fund is looking forward to receiving promised EU funds and in the meantime is engaging in fundraising efforts to raise a further $5.5 million from the private sector.

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