The Bahamas COVID-19 Response
This summary covers an application made by Banco Santander S.A. (Santander) and additional lenders to be identified. Santander S.A. and additional lenders to be identified have requested MIGA to provide a Non-Honoring of Sovereign Financial Obligations (NHSFO) guarantee for approximately US$ 120.3 of debt financing for a period of up to 8 years to be obtained by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Approximately US$ 88.6 million of the debt financing will be used to finance the Project (as described below). Additionally, approximately US$ 20 million of the financing will be used to support Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs). For information on the financing to support MSMEs, please click here.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant negative impact on the economy of The Bahamas, which came on top of the devastating effects of Hurricane Dorian in 2019. In the context of MIGA’s COVID-19 response - https://www.miga.org/covid-19 - the proceeds of the MIGA-guaranteed loan will be used to support the response to the pandemic by the Government of The Bahamas (GoB), which includes strengthening the public health system by expanding service capacity and enhancing diagnostic and modalities of care provided at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) and Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC), both located in New Providence (the Project). The MoF will allocate the proceeds of the MIGA-guaranteed loan to the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) to execute and oversee the Project. The Project will also include PHA’s project management costs. The PHA is a public entity that, inter alia, overseas the management and development of the public hospitals in The Bahamas.
Environmental and Social Categorization
The Project is a Category B under MIGA’s Policy on Environmental and Social Sustainability (2013). Click here to view the Environmental and Social Review Summary.
The financing will be primarily used to create a dedicated Infectious Disease Unit, renovate and expand PMH’s Emergency Department and Imaging & Diagnostic Unit, increase medical facilities and bed capacity, including through the construction of a new multi-story tower facility, and purchase diagnostic medical equipment. In the context of SRC, the financing will enable the renovation and re-commissioning of wards and patient care environments to ensure appropriate spacing consistent with COVID-19 guidelines (among other things), a dedicated space for the treatment and management of COVID-19 cases, and a dedicated admission space for acute psychiatric patients. As a result of the improvements in existing healthcare facilities and creation of new facilities, bed capacity at PMH and SRC will increase, allowing for improved patient access, while strengthening the chronically strained public health system, which is now facing the additional strain from COVID-19. This component of the Project would be aligned with Pillar One of MIGA’s COVID-19 fast-track facility.