The Virgin Islands government requested about $500 million in loan funding from the Caribbean Development Bank in November, but it only received about $65 million, according to Premier Dr. Orlando Smith.

A preliminary assessment after hurricanes Irma and Maria indicated government would need about $550 million for the recovery effort, explained Dr. Smith (R-at large).

“Based on this assessment, a request was made to the CDB on [Nov. 3] for approval in principal of approximately $500 million in borrowing over a period of 2018 to 2020, with $100 million dollars in the short-term,” the premier said in response to a question from Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie (R-D1).

The CDB, however, chose to authorise a $65 million loan to the government in December instead.

The House of Assembly — after a contentious, intraparty debate — approved it later in the month.