Sat | Sep 21, 2019

Letter of the Day | Offer help to storm-hit Bahamas

Published:Wednesday | September 11, 2019 | 12:08 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Many Jamaicans observed with horror for the period that Hurricane Dorian remained stationary over our northern Caribbean neighbours, The Bahamas. Such a tragedy has caused many lives to have been permanently affected by this ordeal. The greatest question we can ask ourselves as a nation is how we can learn from this traumatic experience.

Jamaicans have been improving their disaster resilience, especially as it relates to hurricanes. Even so, one can never be too prepared.

We must look into our post-disaster management and the related financing. In 2017, the World Bank published a study of the financial preparedness of Jamaica for natural disasters titled Advanced Disaster Risk Finance in Jamaica. This report outlined that Jamaica would require approximately $9 billion to properly recover from damage from a hurricane of any significant impact.

The then minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Fayval Williams, noted that recovering from these disasters is critical, as on average they account for approximately 2.5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product. A natural disaster would lead to damaging an already fragile economy.

It is with this understanding of the difficulties of disaster recovery and the significant impact such efforts have on small island developing states, its citizens and future, that we, the National Youth Parliament cohort of 2019, would encourage all Jamaicans to donate to The Bahamas via the numerous channels that have opened up. Our hearts and prayers are with the Bahamian people.

TAVINA PORTER

EWAN BUREY

JAVON MOATT

JHANELLE SMALL

ANDREW JOHNSON

RUTH BENGUCHE

National Youth

Parliament 2019