Bahamas Government and IDB Executives Discuss Rebuilding Plans for Abaco and Grand Bahama

News and Press Release
Originally published
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Authored by: Kathryn Campbell
Source: Bahamas Information Services
Date: September 30, 2019

NASSAU, The Bahamas – Public utilities and temporary shelter for residents of Abaco and Grand Bahama who have been displaced as a result Hurricane Dorian are among the priorities of The Bahamas Government for the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) $100 million contingent loan for natural disasters.

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis met with Mr. Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank and executive board members, Monday, September 30, 2019 at the Office of the Prime Minister, and discussed matters related to the rebuilding of the two islands. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest also attended the meeting.

Minister Turnquest said the government has accessed the full $100 million and it is going to be geared towards public utilities for both Bahamas Power and Light and water utility.

“We’re also using some of that money to provide temporary shelter for residents as we try to encourage them to go back to these islands and help in their reconstruction. Some of it will be used in the immediate emergency relief that’s necessary in order to support them during this upscale cycle where we get people back and commerce started,” added Minister Turnquest.

Mr. Moreno said the visit to was to show “solidarity” with The Bahamas, but more importantly with a view to how to rebuild Grand Bahama and Abaco, as IDB is a development institution.

The President announced that on October 1, 2019 a team of IDB representatives will arrive in The Bahamas to begin a major damage assessment on the cost of reconstruction for the hurricane stricken islands.

“One of the bigger challenges going forward [and I offered this to the Prime Minister] is how we can help him support the new Ministry that is created to do the reconstruction and help them do the coordination with a number of donors.”

“Tomorrow, a very big team will be arriving and will be working for the next few weeks in doing a major damage assessment that will put a dollar amount as to how much is the cost of the reconstruction that will essentially allow the government of The Bahamas to go to its partners in different countries that have expressed an interest in reconstruction to see how we can get the funding for that,” he said.

Mr. Moreno said discussions also centered on a $180 million project for the energy sector and the $100 million emergency line of credit for the use of immediate reconstruction, energy and water restoration and the initial phase of the removal of debris.

“I’m thinking, together with the Prime Minister, how to build back better and use the lessons from the horrible disaster to improve the lives of the people of The Bahamas and the Family Islands,” he added.