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Branson calls 'Marshal plan for Caribbean'

SPEAKING OUT: Richard Branson

BILLIONAIRE ENTREPRENEUR and British Virgin Island resident, Richard Branson, has called for a “disaster recovery Marshall plan” for the Caribbean- a reference to the multi-billion dollar programme agreed by the US to help Europe recover from the devastation of the second world war.

In a recent blogpost, Branson wrote: "The UK government will have a massive role to play in the recovery of its territories affected by Irma - both through short-term aid and long-term infrastructure spending."

"The region needs a “Disaster Recovery Marshall Plan” for the BVI and other territories that will aid in recovery, sustainable reconstruction and long-term revitalisation of the local economy.

This will have to include building resilience against what is likely to be a higher intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, as the effects of climate change continue to grow."

Branson said tens of thousands of people who have lost their homes and livelihoods amid “worrying reports of civil unrest spreading”.

He added: “We must get more help to the islands to rebuild homes and infrastructure and restore power, clean water and food supplies.”

He also called on people to donate to victims of the hurricane via his charity Virgin Unite.

The hurricane has now been downgraded to a category two storm, but forecasters have warned the threat to life still remains, as Florida continues to be battered by 100mph winds and torrential rain.

More than 170,000 people are waiting out the storm in shelters across the state and Irma has so far claimed five lives, with three people dying in car crashes.

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