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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Feb 12, 2020 - 12:05:03 PM

PM Minnis: Pledge conference offers will be laid out for all to see
By Office of the Prime Minister
Feb 12, 2020 - 12:03:26 PM

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The Government will only pursue offers coming out of January’s Pledging Conference that are in the best interests of the residents of the areas affected by the storm and in the best interest of The Bahamas, said Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis on Tuesday in his first National Report for 2020.

The Prime Minister emphasized that the Government is examining what offers may be most beneficial to The Bahamas.

“The offers we accept will be laid out for the Bahamian people to see,” said Prime Minister Minnis.

“It is essential that we promote a culture of transparency with disaster relief assistance, especially because of the questionable and corrupt practices with hurricane funds as we have seen in the past.”

On 13 January, governments, NGOs, multilateral institutions, companies and individuals came together in a first-of-its-kind pledging conference in The Bahamas.

The conference was attended by hundreds and open to the media. Approximately $1.5 billion in recovery financing, in-kind services and some donations were pledged.

“I must emphasize that this was not all cash and that these were offers each of which we will carefully examine,” said the Prime Minister.

“The pledges included initiatives in homebuilding and repair; educational assistance; renewable energy partnerships; relief aid; grants; direct assistance to storm victims; parks restoration; loans and financing. It was a mix of many types of possible assistance.”

On Tuesday, 11 February, the Prime Minister provided an update to the nation on the reconstruction program in Abaco and Grand Bahama, a little over five months since Dorian struck the country’s second and third most populated islands and economic centres.

Dorian, was the strongest hurricane to hit The Bahamas.

Its gusts of 220 miles per hour, and surge of more than 20 feet, wiped out generations worth of infrastructure, and progress, throughout Abaco, the Abaco Cays and Grand Bahama.

It is estimated that Dorian cost The Bahamas $3.4 billion dollars in losses and damage.

“The task of restoration ahead of us is awesome and wide scale.  We have never before, suffered this scale of destruction in our history,” said Prime Minister Minnis.

“However, I have every confidence that the Bahamian people are up to the challenge. Bahamian labour and creativity built this chain of islands into the most dynamic tourism economy in the region. What Dorian destroyed, we will build back better and more resilient.

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