The Bahamas COVID-19 Response
On April 28, 2021 MIGA signed a contract of guarantee for US$ 128.15 million, effective, April 28, 2021, with Banco Santander SA of Spain, for NHSFO coverage of its non-shareholder loan to the Ministry of Finance of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Proceeds of the loan facility will support the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), as part of the country’s COVID-19 response program, and will be used to modernize the public health system and support MSMEs at a critical juncture. Approximately US$89 million of the facility will be allocated to the PHA to upgrade two public hospitals, procure medical equipment and fund its project management costs, and US$20 million will be granted to the SBDC for loan guarantees to MSMEs in an effort to preserve jobs, improve productivity, stimulate economic activity, and promote resiliency. While not explicitly gender focused, women-owned MSMEs will be the main beneficiaries due to their prevalence in SBDC’s portfolio. The proposed guarantees will form part of MIGA’s COVID-19 Response Program, Pillars 1 and 2a.
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.