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Campbell outlines measures undertaken by Social Services in light of COVID-19



#NASSAU, The Bahamas – Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, told Parliamentarians Monday that his Ministry and its Departments and Divisions have undertaken a myriad of measures to provide assistance to those Bahamians as the country continues its fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“The Department of Social Services has two National Hotline numbers and they are: 322-2763 or 422-2763. We continue to cherish our partnership with the Crisis Centre and their number is: 328-0922. The public is encouraged to use these contacts as required,” Minister Campbell added.   (BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)

Minister Campbell said officials have endeavored to use every avenue to remain accessible not only to their regular clients, but also to persons within the community of persons with disabilities, the elderly, those in the tourism sector who find themselves on reduced workweeks as a result of the closure of the tourism sector, and, “those who are generally in need.”

The Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, is comprised of the Department of Social Services, the Department of Rehabilitative Welfare Services, the Department of Gender and Family Affairs and Urban Renewal, along with numerous Divisions and Units.

Minister Campbell said while the Department of Social Services is responsible for, and has been tasked with, ensuring that the requisite assistance is provided to persons in need of assistance, a “team effort” is being utilized.

Minister Campbell said the Department’s response to COVID-19 also takes into account the needs of the country’s most vulnerable groups of clients, consisting of its children, senior citizens and persons with disabilities. He said to facilitate delivery of services to the country’s senior citizens and persons with disabilities who are clients, officials have increased the number of vehicles in its fleet “to avoid [their] being exposed to the large number of clients who visit our various centres on a daily and monthly basis.” Approval was granted and vehicles were rented in New Providence, in Grand Bahama and in Abaco.

The Department also made it possible for persons from the community of persons with disabilities who are not clients of the Department to provide their information to Social Workers at the Disability Affairs Division via telephone so that they could receive emergency food assistance where necessary. They will be required to present IDs when they come to collect these coupons or when the coupons are delivered to them.

Contact numbers for the Disability Affairs Division are: 325-2251/2.

Minister Campbell also announced that persons with disabilities under the age of 16 who normally receive their services every two months, had their April assistance advanced to them in the month of March to facilitate whatever preparations they needed to make. Similar arrangements were also made for persons receiving foster care subsistence.


“I would like to take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to encourage the community of persons with disabilities to register online with the Ministry’s link on the Government’s website They may also email the Disabilities Commission at The Disability Affairs Commission can be contacted on a 24-hour cell by Whatsapp at: 376-8328. We have endeavored to use every avenue to remain accessible, not only to our regular clients, but also to persons with disabilities and those who are generally in need.”

Minister Campbell told House Members that officials from the Department of Social Services have also been working — in partnership with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Ministry of Health and various non-governmental organizations — to promote food safety and security.

“Many of these organizations are challenged with being able to get hot meals and food parcels to persons that are home bound, and to persons who frequent their establishments daily,” Minister Campbell said.

“I want to reassure our partners that as we reevaluate our positions and as we reconsider the needs of our people, we are also reviewing our assistance to them and we will do all that we can to continue to nurture and strengthen those partnerships that we value so much. I want to assure them that they will hear from us in short order.”

Minister Campbell said the Ministry and the Department has also put measures in place to ensure that the assistance normally given to the seniors home, the children’s homes, the Williemae Pratt Centre for Girls and Simpson Penn Centre for Boys continue uninterrupted at this time.


Additionally, Minister Campbell said, the Department of Social Services continues to provide assistance to persons in need by assessing them for Emergency, Temporary or Permanent Food Assistance. He said the Department also continues to assist with utilities and that financial assistance for medical procedures are ongoing.

“Additional assistance for rent, and I want to pause there, Mr. Speaker, because coming out of this I would have heard some concerns about persons who are homeless. Mr. Speaker, the Department of Social Services has always made itself available to assist persons seeking rental assistance and so I say here for the record that anyone who is out there who is serious about wanting assistance in that regard, can access that very same line item.”

Minister Campbell said many of the Department of Social Services clients who receive food assistance (at present the programme is servicing just under 10,000 persons) are armed with Bank of The Bahamas Pre-paid cards upon which funds are uploaded monthly. Minister Campbell said the most recent upload took place on March 27 (2020).

“I am aware that there are a number of persons whose cards have expired in the interim. Those concerns have been expressed and are being addressed. I want to thank the staff at the Bank of The Bahamas who are working with us to renew those cards as soon as possible.”

Minister Campbell said the Department has also been charged with providing special food assistance to those persons who – as a result of the closure of the tourism sector — found themselves on reduced workweeks.

“This for us is uncharted territory. We initially established an email address asking persons to email us so that they can get the subsistence. In light of the fact that we were — while wanting to assist found it necessary to promote physical distancing — within a week, up to Saturday past, we had more than 3,000 persons throughout The Bahamas apply to that email address. I want those persons to know that they will begin getting responses starting today and I am advised, and I know that my team is listening and will not make a liar out of me, that as early as this Wednesday, coupons will be ready and persons will be contacted and advised (a) how they can collect those coupons or (b) how the coupons may be delivered to them.”

Minister Campbell said he would have also been advised that there is some concern that some of the measures put in place to protect citizens from the COVID-19 Pandemic “may have put some persons in some environments that ought to be safe but are not necessarily safe because it is in those home environments where some persons are abused and possibly worse.”

File photo

“Mr. Speaker, I want to say to the abusers that no time is a good time to commit acts of abuse. This is a time when they should reflect on the errors of their past and try to make amends and so I trust where some mistakes would have been made in the past, those perpetrators would repent of their ways and seek to build those bridges that they would have broken down.

BIS News by Matt Maura

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Bahamas News

CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence



Rashaed Esson


Staff Writer 


“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.


She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.


Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.


“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.


“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”


The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.


She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.


For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average. 


In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.”  Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.


Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”

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Bahamas News

Bahamasair Introduces New Flight Service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Georgetown, Exuma



#TheBahamas, November 25, 2023 – Bahamasair celebrated a significant milestone on Wednesday November 15, 2023, with the launch of its new direct service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Georgetown, Exuma. The new route enhances accessibility and convenience for Bahamian residents and travelers seeking direct access to the Exuma Islands.

The inaugural flight carried approximately 50 passengers. The new service, which will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays, allows Bahamian locals to explore mainland Florida, while at the same time, providing travelers direct access to Exuma without the need for a stopover in Nassau.

During a ceremonial ribbon-cutting event at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL), Tracy Cooper, Managing Director of Bahamasair, was delighted with the new service. He highlighted that the decision to add the flight to the Airline’s roster was a direct response to the public’s demand. He added that the move signified Bahamasair’s commitment to delivering a quality product.

“Today, we are thrilled to inaugurate our first flight between Georgetown and Fort Lauderdale, marking a significant milestone in expanding our reach and enhancing connectivity,” Mr. Cooper said. “Next year, we are looking to acquire more airplanes, leading to increased rotations and even more accessibility.”

For the route, ATR aircraft will travel between the Georgetown International Airport and Terminal 1 at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, with an estimated flight time of approximately 90 minutes.

Lamar Fisher, Broward County Mayor, emphasized the significant impact of Bahamasair not only on the airport, but also on the county. The mayor pointed out that The Bahamas currently ranks as the 5th largest international market for FLL. He highlighted the strong cultural, historical, and business ties between South Florida and The Bahamas, expressing optimism that the new route to Georgetown would strengthen the connections.

“We welcome the Georgetown route,” said Mayor Fisher “We look forward to the tourism, business and trade benefits to come, connecting Broward County to another island in The Bahamas.”

Highlighting the significance of this milestone, Dr. Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General and Director of Aviation at The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, characterized the launch as historic. He conveyed his enthusiasm as The Bahamas reached another major achievement, having welcomed approximately 7.9 million visitors in the first nine months of 2023.

Dr. Romer underscored the government’s strategic vision to boost overall arrival numbers.

“This milestone is particularly noteworthy because, despite the ongoing efforts of our longstanding partner airlines to bring people to The Islands of The Bahamas, I am delighted that our national airline, Bahamasair, has left its mark and etched history,” he said. “We are highly pleased with Bahamasair’s initiatives; they consistently make us proud. Their exploration of new routes has our full government support.”

According to Dr. Romer, the new route not only adds value to the airline’s route network but is also valuable to Exuma’s economy.

“This inaugural has significant economic value and benefit because each person who comes into Exuma on a plane contributes 28 times more than a cruise arrival,” said Dr. Romer. “So, when we look at Bahamasair adding additional seat capacity to Exuma, that translates in a tangible way to heads in beds and money into the economy of Exuma.”

Georgetown, Exuma serves as the gateway to an unparalleled Bahamian experience, with access to pristine beaches, ranked among the world’s best. Exuma is also home to the world-famous swimming pigs. Exuma and its neighboring island to the South – Long Island – will both benefit from the new route. Over the past 26 years, Bahamasair has provided transportation to FLL. During that period, the Airline has conducted over 65,000 flights and transported more than 4 million passengers.

With Georgetown, Exuma added to its schedule, the Airline now offers seven (7) daily flights to Fort Lauderdale to and from other Bahamian Family Islands: Nassau and Freeport, Grand Bahama.

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Bahamas News

Stolen Money likely circulating in The Bahamas 



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2023 – Some Bahamians could unknowingly be using stolen money from the bank after one reported being robbed of the cash.

According to a press release from the Central Bank of The Bahamas eary this month, a commercial bank informed them that it was violated by an armored car robbery and bundles of money were stolen.

It said the stolen funds include bundles of Series 2022 $10, Series 2018 $20, Series 2006 and 2019 $50 and Series 2009 and 2021 $100 banknotes.

The Central Bank urged that these banknotes could be in circulation.

In making sure the public knows as much as possible about the stolen money, the Central Bank released information and images on the banknotes. This includes serial number details.

Additionally, the complete list of serial numbers has been provided to authorities and commercial banks where possible, the release said.

The 2018 series 20 dollar notes have a serial number range of N760001 to N765000. All the others have non-sequential numbers.

People are urged to contact the Commercial Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department, Royal Bahamas Police Force, at (242) 322-4191 or (242) 501-9991/2, if they have the banknotes or suspect any suspicious activity related to the notes.

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