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List of Dorian pledges still not available

Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness Iram Lewis said yesterday the government will meet with the representatives from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this week to finalize a breakdown of the pledges from last month’s pledge conference.

Kay Forbes-Smith, managing director for the Disaster Reconstruction Authority, had initially said the report would be published by January 17.

On January 19, Lewis said the breakdown would be publicized by the end of the month.

However, neither of the deadlines were met.

Yesterday, the minister said representatives from the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction met with the UNDP last week.

He said that the meeting did not result in the completion of the report.

Asked when the report will be made available to the public, Lewis told The Nassau Guardian, “We’re meeting with the UNDP this week. The report is being compiled, finalized.

“So, I’m hoping this week. I have to meet with the minister of finance because it’s a part of his ministry. Yeah, we are still going through the process of compiling our report.”

Last month, the government said it received $1.5 billion in pledges for Hurricane Dorian relief during a special pledging conference.

The pledges include technical assistance, intellectual assistance, concessionary loans, equity, grants and guarantee financing.

The lion’s share was a $975 million loan offer from The P3 Group, Inc., a U.S. company. The money would be repaid with interest if accepted.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has said the government will decide which pledges to accept.

The realization that some of the pledged funds were in the form of loans raised concern in the public.

However, Minnis scolded critics, saying that their “silly, confused” comments show how uninformed they are.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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