UN says recovery of eastern Caribbean could cost $1 billion

A senior U.N. official says the recovery of eastern Caribbean islands hardest hit by recent hurricanes could cost up to $1 billion. They include Dominica, Barbuda, Turks and Caicos, the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla

Stephen O'Malley is the U.N. resident coordinator for Barbados and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. He says the "large-scale rebuilding effort that will take time, and it will be important to do that right."

He told U.N. correspondents in a phone briefing from Dominica on Tuesday that "we don't have exact figures yet" but for the worst-affected islands, the total recovery bill will be "half a billion to a billion dollars."

O'Malley said the U.N., World Bank and Antigua government have already conducted a needs assessment for Barbuda, whose 1,800 residents were evacuated.