Connect with us

Bahamas News

Bahamas PM Advocates Innovative Disaster Risk Financing Instruments to Fend Off Adverse Climate Change Impacts

Published

on

#Nassau, November 28, 2018 – Bahamas – Intervening on behalf of The Bahamas at an international conference on “Building Resilience to Disasters and Climate change in the Caribbean,” Prime Minister, Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert A. Minnis called on the donor community to play a key role in the development of catastrophe insurance solutions for developing countries.

“Like many other Caribbean countries, disasters in The Bahamas can have a large, direct impact on economic conditions through reduced productivity and increased national debt due to reconstruction costs,” the Prime Minister said as he addressed the Inter-American Development Bank/International Monetary Fund/World Bank Conference at the IMF Headquarters in Washington, D.C on Monday, November 26, 2018.

The Prime Minister led a Bahamian delegation to the high level conference which brought together other leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), key stakeholders, including senior policymakers, public, private, and multilateral development partners, to explore incentives to shift the focus of policies towards building resilience and innovative disaster risk financing policies and instruments that would help in this regard.

The Prime Minister said as a result of Hurricane Matthew in 2017, The Bahamas Government initially borrowed $150 million and made allocations for capital works, and transfers and subsidies for relief and reconstruction. He further explained that this widened the fiscal deficit from an estimated 1.0 per cent of GDP in 2016/17 before Hurricane Matthew to 1.9 per cent of GDP after Matthew. This represented an $81 million increase in the deficit after the hurricane.

“Subsequently, we recognized that in post-disaster relief and recovery, we should have the resources and means at our disposal to finance our direct contingent liabilities more efficiently, and to be better able to provide additional aid to small businesses and low-income farmers, who are disproportionally impacted by disasters,” he said.

Specifically addressing the topic “Improving Risk Transfer” the Prime Minister noted that as the frequency and severity of disasters increase due to climate change, the intensified shocks could create debt burdens on future generations, and erode development progress.

“We also need to promote insurance solutions for homeowners. The possibilities of introducing natural disaster insurance for homeowners are as varied as the disaster management strategies of different countries,” he said.

According to the Prime Minister, there is no single ideal or universally applicable solution for homeowner’s disaster insurance. In this vein, he said that each country must find and adapt a model that best fits its exposures, existing insurance market infrastructure, institutional set-up and political acceptability.

“However, pooling of risks at the regional level may be the solution to overcome any shortcoming in any particular country.”

The Prime Minister also spoke of the challenge that policymakers often have, which is difficulty obtaining political and economic commitment due to other competing needs and priorities.

“While many agree that reducing disaster risk is important for saving lives and property, few countries such as The Bahamas have appropriate measures in place because other policy issues require greater attention and funding,” he said.

The Prime Minister also observed that policymakers are in need of clear evidence, including cost-benefit analysis, to convince the public and various stakeholders that a commitment to risk transfer is as practical and necessary as any other priority.

And, he called on the donor community to “play key complementary roles in the development of catastrophe insurance solutions for developing countries.”

These roles, he stated, include helping to subsidize insurance premium in the context of a country putting together a sound macro-fiscal framework, and increasing the capitalization of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, so that insurance premium come down automatically.

“In terms of convening power, the World Bank and other IFIs can play a catalytic role in the development of efficient partnerships among countries, donors, and private markets for the financing of catastrophic risks,” the Prime Minister said.

 

By Lindsay Thompson

Release: BIS

Photo Caption: Prime Minister Minnis making intervention at the climate change summit, November 26, 2018, IMF Headquarters, Washington, DC.

 

(BIS Photo/Yontalay Bowe)

 

 

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

Statement From Hon. Fred Mitchell, MP Minister of Foreign Affairs On the Passing of Colin Powell

Published

on

#TheBahamas, October 18, 2021 – I learned this morning  of the death of Colin Powell, the American general and diplomat. I worked with him as Foreign Minister in my first term, particularly on issues related to Haiti.

Yesterday in the CARICOM meeting, I recalled while discussing Haiti his role in the crisis of that time. I recall his life, times and work as generally thoughtful and considered. He was also an example of Caribbean success in America, one to emulate. He was the son of Jamaican parents. He was an example of success as a Black man in America. I am saddened by his passing.

On behalf of the Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis, the government and people of The Bahamas, and in my own behalf, I extend condolences to the United States of America and his family.

 

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Commonwealth of The Bahamas

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

CARPHA Team undertakes Assessment of Guyana’s National Surveillance System for Non-communicable Diseases

Published

on

October 14, 2021 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted a technical mission to Guyana from September 22nd – 25th, 2021 to undertake site visits as a part of an ongoing assessment of six (6) Member States’ systems for the national surveillance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors. This activity was implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Guyana through an Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – funded project.

The aim of the assessment s to provide evidence in support of the development of a Regional Surveillance System for NCDs, a priority under the regional health framework Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016-2025).

During the mission, the CARPHA technical team reviewed the capacity of existing surveillance mechanisms in Guyana to collect, analyse and report on the NCDs and risk factor indicators proposed for the regional surveillance system. These indicators were recommended by a multi-stakeholder meeting series convened in 2020 under the AFD project, which reviewed global, regional, and sub-regional mandates, targets and practices in surveillance for the prevention and control of NCDs.

The CARPHA Team along with senior officials from the Ministry of Health conducted visits to two (2) health centres, the National Cancer Registry, Ministry of Health Surveillance, and Statistics Unit.  The results from the overall assessment will be presented to the Ministry of Health Guyana and will also be reviewed alongside results from similar assessments in Anguilla, Aruba, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname to inform the finalisation of the regional surveillance system design through a regional stakeholder meeting.

The regional NCDs surveillance system would facilitate the reporting and availability of data to inform policy development, planning, and tracking of progress towards meeting for targets NCDs at Regional and National levels.

Through funding from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), CARPHA is leading the Region in Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to prevent and control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean. This project, signed in 2019 with a value of €1,500,000.00, demonstrates the commitment of the Government of France and the French people to supporting the public health priorities of the Caribbean Community through CARPHA.

More information on the Project can be found at: https://www.carpha.org/Projects/Ongoing-Projects/Strengthening-Strategic-Intelligence-and-Partnership-Approaches-To-Prevent-and-Control-NCDs-and-Strengthen-Regional-Health-Security-In-The-Caribbean

Continue Reading

Bahamas News

World Sight Day: Love Your Eyes

Published

on

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  14 October, 2021.  In the Caribbean, the leading causes of blindness are glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy (a complication of diabetes).  According to the Vision Atlas, 6.2 million persons in the Caribbean were reported to have vision loss, with an estimated 260,000 persons reported to be blind in 2020.

Information gathered from eighteen (18) Caribbean countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) with a population of 44 million, showed that the crude prevalence of blindness was 0.60%, and the prevalence of all vision loss was 13.20%. Many of the persons affected were females at 52%.

Global statistics reveal that for 2020, a total of 596 million persons had distance vision impairment worldwide, of this number 43 million were blind.  Projections for 2050, indicate that an estimated 885 million persons may be affected by distance vision impairment with 61 million expected to experience  blindness.

CARPHA’s vision for the Caribbean is a region where the health and wellness of the people are promoted and protected from disease, injury and disability, thereby enabling human development in keeping with the belief that the health of the Region is the wealth of the Region.

Although there are no projects that directly address vision impairment, CARPHA in collaboration with its public health partners is implementing initiatives to address risk factors such as unhealthy diets, use of harmful substances and poor physical activities. This in turn, will help reduce the risk of disability due to complications associated with poor blood sugar and blood pressure management.

Efforts to improve the standards of care for diabetes through the implementation of the CARPHA Guidelines on the Management of Diabetes in Primary Care in the Caribbean, and training of health care workers from the CARPHA Member States will also contribute to the prevention of vision impairment and blindness due to diabetes.

Access to eye care services can reduce visual impairment.  CARPHA urges Member States to strengthen health systems to improve eye health services with emphasis on reaching the vulnerable and those most in need.  Governments should commit to integrating eye care into the universal health care system.

World Sight Day is celebrated annually on the second Thursday in October.  The focus of the day is to bring awareness to blindness and vision impairment as a major public health issue and blindness prevention.

The 2021 commemoration observed on 14th October, seeks to encourage persons to think about the ‘importance of their own eye health.’

Our eyes are working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been indoors, in front of our screens, and probably missed our eye test appointments. Now more than ever, we need to protect and prioritize our eyesight. There are simple things you can do for yourself to prevent the development of serious eye issues:

  • Take screen breaks for at least five minutes every hour
  • Spend time outside.  Increased outdoor time can reduce the risk of myopia (near-sightedness)[3]
  • Get an eye test. A complete eye exam can detect eye conditions such as glaucoma before it has an effect on your sight. The earlier an eye condition is identified, the easier it is to treat.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and engage in physical activity. These are crucial steps in maintaining a healthy weight, controlling obesity, and preventing diseases such as diabetes, all of which can impact eye health.
  • If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes checked every year

Your sight cannot be taken for granted.  It is time to LOVE YOUR EYES!

Continue Reading

FIND US ON FACEBOOK

TRENDING