Categorized | National News

Gov’t to Access $100 Million Loan

The United States administration has encouraged the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to line the release of relief funds through multilateral institutions for The Bahamas which will allow the government to obtain its $100 million emergency credit.

Lining up the release of funds through multilateral institutions was done to expedite funding more quickly as a result of the massive devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian.

The directors of the U.S. office at IDB received a briefing on the status of relief efforts in The Bahamas.

The Bahamas has requested the first $25 million disbursement from its $100 million emergency credit line. IDB is preparing a $20 million immediate response loan for restoration of basic services (airport/energy/water),” the U.S. office at IDB confirmed.

Since the passage of Hurricane Dorian, The Bahamas has received millions of dollars from countries around the world to assist with relief and recovery efforts.

On Monday, the government of India contributed $1 million for hurricane relief.

During the cheque presentation, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis told India High Commissioner M. Sevala Naik that the “funds will be put to good use”  for the rebuilding of islands impacted by Hurricane Dorian.

Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Floridians have raised more than $11 million for hurricane relief in The Bahamas.

Also, the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) will payout nearly $11 million to The Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian’s widespread destruction and devastation in Abaco and Grand Bahama.

According to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest, that figure does not include rainfall insurance.

As CCRIF explained on its website, the payouts are made within 14 days of an event, but in this case an advance payment of 50 percent was made to allow the government to begin addressing its most pressing needs.

The remaining 50 percent is to be paid within the 14-day window. Since assuming office two years ago, the Minnis administration has paid CCRIF some $5 million. 

“We’re pleased and confident that the coverage is worth it.  Heaven forbid a storm like we’ve seen with Dorian hits Nassau,” Turnquest said last week.

“The damage and the cost would be astronomical and without some kind of protection like CCRIF, we would be flat out for a long time, trust me.

“One of the things people in New Providence, areas that have not been hit by the hurricane, don’t understand the magnitude of the lost. Not only in terms of the physical lost, but in terms of the economic and the mental lost. 

“These are significant events and we cannot do it on our own.  We need the protection and the risk protection in order to be able to at least address the immediate needs.”  

The United States gave The Bahamas more than $10 million in funding for humanitarian assistance and response following Hurricane Dorian. 

The Bahamas also received $100,000 from the government of the People’s Republic of China.

However, the near collapse of the economies of Abaco and Grand Bahama caused by the hurricane will drastically reduce the government’s income for a few years. 

Earlier this week, Turnquest said it is estimated that the country’s revenue will be hit with a $200 million shortfallbecause of the hurricane’s impact.

“Abaco and Grand Bahama represents somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of our GDP, so it’s not an insignificant loss to the economy,” Turnquest explained.

“Hopefully, the reconstruction, the inflow of insurance proceeds and people putting that to work will rebuild the economy. 

“Hopefully, that will offset some of the touristic losses that we expect and will be able to get them up and going and contributing again very shortly.” 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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