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No budget yet for new ministry

The Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction’s budget may not be finalized until February, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said yesterday.

“The budget for the ministry is still very much being laid out and formulated,” Turnquest said.

“At the moment, the operating cost is being funded through the Office of the Prime Minister’s budget… We may not have the full, complete budget for the new ministry before the mid-term when we’ll come back to lay out the cost as well as the plan going forward in terms of how this whole event will reprioritize the government’s finances.”

The ministry was formally established on September 22 after Hurricane Dorian – the strongest storm to hit The Bahamas – devastated chunks of Abaco and Grand Bahama.

The storm has left thousands of people displaced and hundreds missing in its aftermath.

As the government attempted to address concerns in the wake of the deadly storm, which has a death toll of at least 60, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced that Central Grand Bahama MP Iram Lewis had been appointed minister of state in the new ministry.

During the announcement, the prime minister said that a budget had not been allocated for the ministry.

He said it was expected to be discussed on September 24 at Cabinet.

It’s unclear if that happened.

Last week, Turnquest told reporters that the ministry would be funded through loans and money from dormant accounts.

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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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