“Bahamas prepares for pledge conference in January”

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The Bahamas will host a pledge conference early next year to mobilise financial and technical support for recovery efforts following the passage of Hurricane Dorian in September that killed at least 65 people and left millions of dollars in damage when it swept through the archipelago on September 1.

The January 13 conference is being held with the support from the United States and the United Kingdom governments.

Dorian, a Category 5 hurricane was particularly severe on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama causing damage estimated at US$3.4 billion, according to assessments conducted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

The pledge conference will be held on New Providence and aims to galvanize support from the private sector, high-net-worth individuals, other Governments and donors who have expressed interest in assisting with the recovery.

The government intends to outline its recovery priorities during a press conference scheduled for December 11.

“Parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama were decimated by Hurricane Dorian. To date, the official death count stands at 70 with more missing. Thousands of residents have been displaced. We are a resilient people and the government of the Bahamas welcomes all initiatives that will help us move along the path of recovery,” said Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.

“Support from the private sector and from persons who consider The Bahamas a second home will help to augment our efforts to build back better and stronger and with more resilience,” he added.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative to the Bahamas, Denise Antonio said “the high-income classification for the Bahamas means that the government will have to mobilize private sector or other donor financing to pay for its short and medium-term recovery needs.”

She said the UNDP is committed to supporting the government to mobilize recovery financing because the country has limited access to overseas development assistance and concessional financing due to its classification as a high-income country.

Companies and donors interested in participating in the pledge conference are asked to visit the  Bahamas Chamber of Commerce’s website or the Government’s website to access registration information. (CMC)