The passage of Hurricane Matthew through The Bahamas in October 2016 marks the second time in just over a year that the country was affected by a Category 4 hurricane. However, unlike 2015’s Hurricane Joaquin, which affected islands having a relatively low population, Hurricane Matthew’s greatest impact was felt on the country’s population centres of New Providence and Grand Bahama, as well as in the district of North Andros. Damage in these areas was caused by high winds and storm surge associated with the hurricane, and was exacerbated by construction practices and the siting of communities and infrastructure in vulnerable locations.
Soon after the hurricane passed, the government of The Bahamas asked the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to assess the resulting damages, losses and additional costs. The IDB requested assistance from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) for technical assistance with the assessment. This report presents results of the assessment. It also presents recommendations to guide a resilient reconstruction process that can reduce vulnerabilities and risks for the population and for every sector of the economy.