Minister of Economic Affairs, the Hon. Michael Halkitis said The Bahamas and the IDB have enjoyed a ‘mutually beneficial’ partnership over the years. This partnership, he said, has allowed the Bahamas to tap into relevant projects that build capacity, one of which is currently a $500,000 project that focuses on capacity building in disaster and health risk management.
Mr. Halkitis was speaking at the ‘Climate Change and the Importance of Disaster and Health Risk Management in The Bahamas’ Symposium hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) at the Baha Mar Conference Centre, January 19, 2023.
“The Inter-American Development Bank and The Bahamas have, over the years, forged a mutually beneficial partnership that has endured and bloomed. This cooperation has taken the form of projects and policy-based financing and special assistance and cooperation,” he said.
“In this context, the Ministry of Finance has requested from the bank, to address climate and natural disaster and health crises. In response to this request, the bank will execute a [$500,000] technical cooperative project. The project, among other things, will enhance capacity building in the relevant government agencies to support the development of policies aimed at responding effectively at delivering disaster relief and health services during catastrophic circumstances,” he continued. “
We wish to express gratitude to the bank for its expeditious response to this request.”He wished the participants a productive meeting and said that it was an opportune time for the symposium.
“This symposium is timely particularly considering the emphasis on resources that the Government of The Bahamas is channeling in the areas of climate change and disaster risk management.”
He ended his address by wishing them success in their discussions, and confirming the support of his Ministry.“I have no doubt that the discussions of these relevant topics will prove to be fruitful and will invariably, give rise to the establishment of thematic groups that will be tasked with advancing the subject matter both in the local arena and internationally to expand capacity, in the context of a strong economic recovery for The Bahamas, but being cognizant of the forecast for moderate economic growth and other economic evidence. It is important that we plan and manage these economic risks as well as risk-related climate and health. We are fully aware that we are susceptible to the worsening economic impact of climate change as well as the debilitating level of chronic non-communicable diseases which impact our health and inevitably, our productivity.”
“We wish you all the best in your deliberations and wish to confirm the Ministry of Economic Affairs stands ready to assist in advancing the conclusions that come out of this forum for the appropriate institutions, and support the next steps.”