$6 Million Allocated to Ministry of Disaster Risk Management

(BIS Photo/Anthon Thompson)

More than $6 million has been allocated to the “new” Ministry of Disaster Risk Management, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Myles LaRoda told Parliament, Tuesday.

State-Minister LaRoda said the name change was not undertaken just for the sake of making a change.

“Rather, it is to underscore a change in focus from emergency response towards reducing and managing conditions of hazards, exposure and vulnerability to prevent losses and alleviate the impacts of disasters. Since we cannot reduce the severity of natural hazards, the main opportunity for reducing risk lies in reducing vulnerability and exposure.

“Reducing these two components of risk requires identifying and reducing the underlying drivers of risk, which are particularly related to poor economic and urban development choices and practice, degradation of the environment, poverty and inequality, and climate change, which create and exacerbate conditions of hazard, exposure and vulnerability. 

“Addressing these underlying risk drivers will reduce disaster risk, lessen the impacts of climate change and, consequently, maintain the sustainability of development,” Mr. LaRoda added.

State-Minister LaRoda, who has responsibility for Disaster Risk Management and Emergency Response among his other duties, said the allocation of $6,578,416 will not be the sole source of funding for national disaster risk management programmes and activities in-country.

He said: “Additionally embedded throughout the budget, are allocations to various Ministries and Departments for Climate Change adaptation and mitigation measures and Disaster Preparedness and Response activities.”

Mr. LaRoda said The Bahamas also enjoys excellent partnerships with foreign Governments, in addition to regional and international organizations, who have provided the country with the resources (both human and financial) to support its Disaster Risk Management programmes.

The State-Minister for Disaster Risk Management and Emergency Response told his Parliamentary colleagues that associated with the re-naming of the Ministry is the passage of the Disaster Risk Management Act “which this Parliament assented to on 9th December, 2022.”

The purpose of the Disaster Risk Management Act, 2022 is to: develop, promote and implement an approach to disaster risk management that is holistic, comprehensive, integrated, and proactive in lessening the socio-economic and environmental impacts of disasters including climate change; focuses on reducing risk, including the risk of loss of life, health, physical integrity, economic disruption and damage to the environment and property, especially to those members of the population who are most vulnerable by reason of age, disability, poverty, lack of resources, physical displacement or gender; and promotes the involvement and participation of all relevant sectors and stakeholders, at all levels of the society. 

By MATT MAURA/Bahamas Information Services