Categorized | National News

Gov’t Accesses Emergency Funds

The government will be able to draw down on some $400,000 in financial resources, once officials have completed assessing hurricane devastated Abaco and Grand Bahama.

According to Acting Deputy Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Athena Marche, the ministry is activating the necessary protocols to access emergency funds available from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The government secured this late last year along with the risk insurance. Mrs. Marche said, during a press conference yesterday, the draw down will be based on need at each phase of recovery.

“First, the Ministry of Finance is activating the necessary protocols to access emergency funds available under the Inter-American Development Bank Contingent Line of Credit secured by the government late last year,” Mrs. Marche said.

“This credit facility gives the government access to emergency financing to provide basic necessities to persons in the affected areas and to procure dedicated goods and services for the execution of restorative work.

“Our technical teams, including local and international partners, are commencing a parametric and economic impact assessment to support this work.

“Second, as The Bahamas is covered by a Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF SPC), the Ministry of Finance is activating the necessary assessment protocols to trigger any payments we qualify for.” 

According to Mrs. Marche, the Ministry of Finance intends to ensure there is sufficient funding for relief and recovery.

“Overall, the Ministry of Finance is implementing the government’s fiscal plan for catastrophic natural disasters to ensure the vital hurricane relief operations being conducted by NEMA are adequately funded,” Mrs. Marche said.

In 2016, $200,000 was approved by the IDB for emergency assistance due to Hurricane Matthew.

In 2018, the government took a comprehensive approach toward financially preparing the country for disaster response and was able to secure $100 million from the IDB.

In April 2019, during the signing ceremony with IDB for the Contingent Loan for Natural Disaster, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis revealed that Hurricanes Joaquin, Matthew and Irma’s impact on The Bahamas cost approximately $828 million.  

At the time, Dr. Minnis stated that The Bahamas was preparing to be better equipped to respond to natural disasters. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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