Bahamas uses 78% of Dorian relief donations


Tribune Business Reporter

The government’s Disaster Reconstruction Authority has deployed 78 percent of the $9m in pledges received to-date, its presiding minister said yesterday.

Iram Lewis, minister of state for disaster preparedness, management and reconstruction, told the Hurricane Dorian pledging conference that the government has so far spent $7m in pledged donations.

Some $4.6m was allocated to temporary dome housing structures for residents on Grand Bahama and Abaco, with the other $2.4m financing clean-up efforts on the affected islands and shelter preparation. Around $2m remains.

Denise Antonio, the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) resident representative, gave details on the creation of a National Recovery and Reconstruction Fund (BNRRF), describing it as a “major element to the efforts to build resilience for the long haul”.

She said: “The main intention of the BNRRF is to create a predictable national multi-party asset fund that finances recovery and resilience priorities to address the root causes of vulnerabilities and build resilience to future disasters.”

The BNRRF will also facilitate the mobilisation of private sector and other donor resources to finance recovery in the government’s priority areas.

“Through a competitive process based on capacities and expertise, access to the fund will be made available to qualified organisations through the provision of financial resources to deliver recovery and reconstruction projects that are part of the government’s national priorities,” said Ms Antonio.

Providing details on its governance, she added: “The overarching governance mechanism shall be a steering committee the government of The Bahamas and the UNDP will co-chair with a regular committee meeting at least bi-annually.”

The steering committee “will set the strategic direction and provides overall guidance”, and will make “consensus-based decisions on the management and allocation of the funds, and the support in the overseeing of the fund’s overall implementation to ensure that resources that are provided are committed”.

The National Disaster and Reconstruction Authority will be the serve as the management and executing agency, and will be the default secretariat for the fund.