The Bahamas to receive US$50 million CDB loan for Hurricane Dorian recovery

The Bahamas will receive a US$50 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to assist with its recovery following the devastating impact Hurricane Dorian in September.

The Caribbean Development Bank.

According to the Barbados-based institution today, its Board of Directors has approved an Exogenous Shock Response Policy-Based Loan of US$50 million to support The Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian.

The total cost of impact and effects to The Bahamas following the category 5 system was estimated at US$3.4 billion by the Inter-American Development Bank last month.

A man walks through the rubble in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian on the Great Abaco island town of Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, September 2, 2019. (REUTERS/Dante Carrer)

Sixty-seven people were reported dead with approximately three hundred still missing.

President of the CDB, Dr Wm Warren Smith, said “The loss of life and massive destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian has placed a heavy burden on The Bahamas. The loan will support the people and the country during the recovery and maintain the momentum of the ongoing reform programme to foster fiscal discipline and build resilience against natural disasters.”

“Economic growth is expected to return to its long-term average of approximately 1.8 per cent by 2021.”

– The Caribbean Development Bank

The worst affected islands in the nation, Abaco and Grand Bahama, saw 29,500 of its inhabitants, or about 40 per cent of the combined population of both, suffering severe damage to homes and assets, said the CDB.

The loan will also facilitate a reform programme to “achieve fiscal sustainability and enhance economic and physical resilience to external shocks and natural disasters, while bolstering growth and job creation.”

An aerial view of floods and damages from Hurricane Dorian on Freeport, Grand Bahama on September 5, 2019. (Photo by Adam DelGiudice / AFP)

The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, at the end of October, said the island of Grand Bahama was rebounding as visitor arrivals restarted. However, it said much of The Abacos remained devastated “with virtually no viable options for leisure tourism in the near future.”

Bahamas’ economic growth was revised from to one per cent from 1.7 per cent this year and from 1.8 per cent to 1.5 per cent for the next fiscal year. “Economic growth is expected to return to its long-term average of approximately 1.8 per cent by 2021.”