UN migration agency launches US$10M appeal to support hurricane recovery in the Bahamas

Sunday, October 13, 2019

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UNITED NATIONS (CMC )– The United Nations' International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched a US$10 million appeal to assist The Bahamas as the country continues to recover from the devastation brought on by Hurricane Dorian just over a month ago.

On Friday, IOM said the funding will support its operations in areas such as camp coordination and management, provision of shelter and non-food items, and emergency evacuations through April 2020. 

“Hurricane Dorian caused widespread devastation on the islands of Abaco, from Marsh Harbour to the North, and Grand Bahama; from Pelican Point east to McLean's Town; leaving behind a trail of destroyed infrastructure, clogged with debris from devastated houses, domestic goods, vehicles and natural debris like trees and mangroves, uprooted by the storm surge,” said IOM officer Nazif Aliu.

The UN said that when Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas on September 1, the Category 5 storm caused 61 deaths, while more than 600 people are still missing. 

UN Secretary-General António Guterres visited the country shortly afterwards, describing the disaster as “Category Hell”.

IOM has established two offices in the Bahamas – one in the capital, Nassau, and the other on Abaco – with a third planned for Grand Bahama.

The organization said it is already supporting the country through grants from the United States and the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund, representing nearly US$2 million of the appeal. 

The funding has allowed IOM to begin debris removal in Abaco, in partnership with the NGO Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), the UN said. 

“We are removing over 100 cubic meters of debris daily. This operation is coordinated with the government of The Bahamas, through its emergency response agency NEMA, which is leading the organized planning of debris removal”, said Aliu, who is based in Abaco.

The UN said the Bahamian authorities have also formally requested IOM to help relocate citizens stranded in the United States after their evacuation following Hurricane Dorian.


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