€500,000 in humanitarian aid for Bahamas


€500,000 in humanitarian aid for Bahamas

Thursday, September 12, 2019

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The European Union (EU) yesterday announced that it is mobilising €500,000 in humanitarian aid funding to address the most urgent needs of Hurricane Dorian victims in The Bahamas.

The European Commission in Jamaica, in a release, said the funding will go towards shelter, water, hygiene and sanitation.

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides noted that Dorian has left a large trail of destruction with many casualties and homes in ruins.

“We will do all we can to help, getting aid in to the people on the ground. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy and with the Bahamian authorities and brave first responders on the scene,” Stylianides said.

Following a request for assistance from The Bahamas, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated and relief, logistics and communications support are being sent by The Netherlands and Luxembourg.

As an immediate first response the EU said it mobilised a humanitarian expert to The Bahamas to make a first assessment of the needs last week and that in the coming days two liaison officers from its Emergency Response Coordination Centre will join him to coordinate the incoming assistance.

The EU said it is also supporting the efforts of the National Red Cross to provide urgent assistance to the victims.

“The EU's 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in close contact with the authorities of The Bahamas and member states to monitor the situation and channel further assistance,” the commission in Jamaica said.

The category five storm made landfall on September 1 wiping out communities on Abaco and Grand Bahama in the north-eastern Bahamas, leaving at least 50 confirmed deaths up to Tuesday and a trail of grief and destitution. The EU estimates that 76,000 persons are mostly in need of shelter, water, food and hygiene.

Last week, the Jamaican Government dispatched relief teams to The Bahamas to assist with efforts there. At a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, Chief of Defence Staff Lieutenant General Rocky Meade said adequate resources will be deployed to sustain the Jamaican mission for up to a month and that the army is prepared to send a Coast Guard vessel with additional supplies for troops as well as relief supplies for Bahamians.

He said that if there is need for an extended presence in The Bahamas, Jamaica will be committed to providing support as long as the resources are available.

Lieutenant General Meade noted that the Jamaica Defence Force is reconstituting another team of 100 personnel to be on standby in the event that support is required elsewhere, given that Jamaica and the region remain vulnerable to storms during the 2019 hurricane season.

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