IMF to give Bahamas US$200 million loan for hurricane recovery

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is prepared to provide the Bahamas with US$200 million at “low cost and without policy conditionality” as it expressed confidence that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country would be able to rebuild a ‘stronger and more resilient economy” following the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian last September.

Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc in the Bahamas last year.

The Category 5 storm tore through the archipelago on September 1, killing at least 70 people, with more than 200 missing and damage estimated at US$3.4 billion.

An IMF delegation, led by Fabian Bornhorst, has ended a five-day visit to Nassau “to take stock of economic developments after Hurricane Dorian and prepare for the 2020 Article IV Consultation, planned for March 2020”.

“We are confident that the people of The Bahamas will rebuild a stronger and more resilient economy.”

— IMF’s Fabian Bornhorst

“Our heartfelt sympathies are with the victims of Hurricane Dorian, and with those who face the arduous task of rebuilding their livelihoods. We are confident that the people of The Bahamas will rebuild a stronger and more resilient economy.

“The IMF stands ready to support The Bahamas, including through its emergency financing facilities. Through the IMF’s Rapid Financing Instrument up to US$ 200 million could be available to The Bahamas at low cost and without policy conditionality,” Bornhorst said.

He acknowledged that the hurricane had devastated parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama, resulting in a sharp fall in tourist arrivals.

“Nevertheless, a gradual recovery is already under way, and tourism to other islands of the archipelago is holding up. The still-favourable economic outlook for tourism source countries will support the process.”

Bornhorst said a mild economic contraction is projected in 2020 and that growth is expected to pick up once the infrastructure and tourism capacity is rebuilt.