UN knowledgeable urges worldwide help for The Bahamas amid local weather disaster

“The Bahamas wants long-term monetary planning to deal with its local weather vulnerability and financial dependence on tourism,” mentioned Attiya Waris, the UN Impartial Skilled on international debt, worldwide monetary obligations and human rights, in a assertion on the finish of a 10-day go to to the nation.

Monetary help challenges 

Ms. Waris famous that The Bahamas’ standing as a high-income nation hinders its potential to safe loans from worldwide monetary establishments and entry improvement help.  

“The fact is that they need to be supported by the worldwide group, together with worldwide monetary establishments and improvement banks,” she mentioned. 

Mr. Waris referred to as upon each The Bahamas and the worldwide group to undertake another comparative indicator as an alternative of relying solely on Gross Home Product (GDP) per capita.

This advice stems from recognizing that the nation faces distinctive challenges, resembling a excessive value of residing and an ongoing vulnerability to catastrophic climate-related disasters, which demand a larger allocation of assets than many different states.

Tourism and catastrophe prices 

She highlighted The Bahamas’ robust reliance on tourism as a cornerstone of its economic system. Over the past decade, the nation has endured 5 main hurricanes, with Hurricane Dorian in 2019 being the newest. This devastating occasion resulted in a staggering $3.4 billion in damages, equating to nearly 1 / 4 of the nation’s GDP. 

“The affect of Hurricane Dorian, COVID-19 and the decline in tourism was devastating for each the inhabitants and the nation’s economic system,” the knowledgeable mentioned. “The nation continues to be repaying the debt incurred for reconstruction and can proceed to take action for a few years to come back.” 

Financial variety wanted

She inspired the Authorities to prioritize complete, long-term financial planning that takes into consideration the impacts of local weather change. 

Moreover, she instructed exploring choices to scale back the nation’s heavy reliance on tourism, improve meals safety, and harness native innovation as means to diversify the economic system. These recommendations will likely be introduced to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2024.

“The collective duty of the worldwide group in direction of local weather change and its penalties shouldn’t be forgotten,” Ms. Waris mentioned.

UN impartial specialists are appointed by the Human Rights Council to observe particular nation conditions or thematic points.

They serve of their particular person capability and are usually not UN workers and don’t obtain a wage for his or her work. 

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