The government of India yesterday donated $1,000,000 to The Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
The donation took place at the Office of the Prime Minister.
“India had acknowledged the large spread destruction in Abaco and we decided to grant one million U.S. dollars as a disaster relief fund,” Indian High Commissioner M. Sevala Naik told reporters on the sidelines.
He added, “India will be happy to exchange any other material and assistance required.”
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said the donation demonstrated “the close, friendly relationship” between the two countries.
He also noted The Bahamas has “always had a good relationship” with India.
“The $1,000,000 will obviously go to help rebuild the destruction on both Abaco and Grand Bahama,” Minnis said.
“We definitely appreciate it.”
Minnis added, “As you know, India [itself] experiences a lot of disasters, cyclones, monsoons, and, therefore, they repeatedly go through [these] experiences and know what impact it has on a country’s economy and people psychologically and moving forward.”
Naik said he visited Grand Bahama a week before the storm and noted India’s attraction to the island’s “variety of tax incentives”.
“My visit was, basically, primarily, to bring more investments from India, particularly in IT companies and pharmaceuticals,” Naik said.
“I don’t know how long it will take to bring back that confidence again, but many Indian companies were interested [in relocating] their IT businesses from the U.S. or different countries in the region to The Bahamas, Grand Bahama.”
The prime minister said the Bahamian medical sector has also benefitted from the country’s relationship with India.
“Our medical services have been greatly supported and, in some instances, ran by individuals in the Indian community,” said Minnis.