By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE government is exploring "contingency bonds" as a means of providing emergency funding for major hurricane-related catastrophes, the Deputy Prime Minister said yesterday.
K Peter Turnquest, speaking at a fiscal policy workshop hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government, said the Government had renewed the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) policy and was also exploring other mechanisms to help finance post-hurricane restoration efforts.
"We re-enlisted with the Caribbean Catastrophic Insurance fund last year, which provides us with a bit of a back stop," he said. "We are talking with our partners in the Caribbean, as well as in the Pacific, about contingency bonds; about blue bonds, green bonds, as a way of providing some contingency funding in the event we have a major catastrophic event."
Mr Turnquest stressed that the Government is committed to the restoration of Ragged Island, and transforming it into the first totally 'green island' in the Caribbean. "The Government of the Bahamas is committed to the citizens and residents of the Bahamas, and ensuring that they have equal access to the best infrastructure available," Mr Turnquest said. "We recognise that storms are getting stronger, there is sea water rise and we have to consider our overall long-term planning. The Government is committed to helping rebuild that island [Ragged Island] in a smart, green way. We are in dialogue with the Carbon War Room to provide technical skills, design, as well as financial help to make that happen.
"We are committed to the extent our resources allow us to make Ragged Island a model of sustainable building. We will be looking at building codes to determine where we allow people to build, and building up to 200 mile per hour capacity, so that we can can face these super storms."