Bahamas News

USAID donates an additional $7.5 Million for humanitarian assistance in Grand Bahama

#Freeport, GB, October 2, 2019 – Bahamas – The United States is providing an additional $7.5 million dollars in humanitarian assistance to the people of The Bahamas who were affected by Hurricane Dorian, bringing the United States’ total funding for the response to Dorian to more than $33 million.

The additional funding was announced by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green, during a press briefing at Samaritan’s Purse on Tuesday, October 1, 2019.

Green was a part of a bipartisan, government effort.

“This assistance is part of a whole of the United States’ Government effort in partnership with the Bahamian Government, charitable organizations and the private sector to address the humanitarian needs of those affected by the strongest storm ever to hit The Bahamas,” said Green.

“This is a bipartisan group.  Republicans and Democrats; Administration, members of Congress… we are all united in our support for our neighbour, The Bahamas.”

Thanking USAID for their financial assistance on behalf of the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, President of the Bahamas Senate and Coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Senator Kay Forbes-Smith said the United States and The Bahamas have such a great partnership and relationship.

“We’ve had so many international organizations come to our aid in Grand Bahama and we are appreciative of it,” said Senator Smith. “They have done a tremendous job and I know that the Prime Minister and the Bahamian people are thankful. We certainly are, because those who have come in have been extraordinary.

“I want to put a special plug in for the Coast Guard because they have really been working with the NEMA team. We’re proud of them, we’re proud to have them with us. They’ve done a tremendous job with everyone else.

“We are extremely pleased to continue to accept the support and help from the United States and we remain both thankful and hopeful.”

Most of the additional funding from USAID will provide vital support to the USA’s humanitarian partner, Samaritan’s Purse, for its field hospital, and the Rand Memorial Hospital of Freeport.  In addition to contributing to meeting the most immediate humanitarian needs, the funding to Samaritan’s Purse humanitarian aid organization will also pay for the removal of debris to help residents get back into their homes.  “Emergency and transitional shelter for families whose homes Dorian damaged or destroyed in Grand Bahama and in the Abacos, also repairs to water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure and the provision of emergency water supplies to communities affected by the storm,” added Administrator Mark Green.

South Florida District Congresswoman, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said South Floridians know and understand what kind of devastation a hurricane like Dorian could inflict on an island like The Bahamas.  “Dorian was unique in and of itself because of the way it hung over Grand Bahama for such a long period of time,” said Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz. “Nowhere have we seen a storm impact a country the way Dorian has The Bahamas.  So, we wanted to make sure that we were here to demonstrate our support and affection and show the Bahamian people, our extended family, how much we care.”

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, originally from Abaco and the first Bahamian-American to be elected to the United States Congress, thanked the American people who assisted those Bahamians who migrated to Miami from Abaco and Grand Bahama immediately following the passing of Hurricane Dorian.  She said they will continue to do their part in assisting Bahamians in Florida and looks forward to a quick recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Dorian.

Administrator Mark Green said that the assistance to The Bahamas will continue because it is America’s desire to see both Grand Bahama and Abaco recover quickly from Hurricane Dorian.

“I also want to pay tribute to the outpouring of compassion from the American people. I often say that when crisis strikes, especially in our neighborhood, America will stand with our friends because that’s who we are as Americans.

“We care very deeply about our neighbors in The Bahamas and we will continue to stand with them and assist them in their time of difficulty.”

By Andrew Coakley

Release: BIS

Photo Caption: President of the Senate, Kay Forbes-Smith (right) welcomes the American bipartisan group of US Congress men and women, and officials from USAID to Grand Bahama on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at the Grand Bahama International Airport.  The group had previously met with Prime Minister of the Bahamas, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis in Nassau.  They then flew to Grand Bahama where they met with Senator Kay Forbes-Smith, toured Samaritan’s Purse humanitarian field hospital, and other facilities in Grand Bahama — and announced a $7.5 Million donation to Grand Bahama for humanitarian relief.  Most of the funding will go towards Samaritan’s Purse Hospital and the Rand Memorial Hospital.  Meeting Senator Smith at the airport were (from left): Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Congressman Gregory Meeks, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, and Mark Green, Administrator, United States Agency for International Development (USAID).   

(BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

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