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NEMA Bahamas Receives Emergency Supplies From the United States to Tune of $92K

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#NASSAU, The Bahamas – July 27, 2020 — The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) received an assortment of relief supplies from the United States Embassy in Nassau to enable a faster response to any disaster, and aid in COVID-19 fight.

The supplies, at an estimated cost of $92,000, were presented during a hand-over ceremony at NEMA on Gladstone Road on Wednesday, July 22, 2020.

Carl Smith, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction under which NEMA falls, was on hand to accept the supplies presented by U.S. Embassy Defense Attaché Commander Kevin Self of the U.S. Northern Command.

Mr. Smith thanked the U.S. Government through its Embassy for donating the supplies, which he said bodes well for the “deep relationship” between both countries.

Photo provided by NEMA Bahamas

The United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) is one of eleven unified combatant commands of the United States Department of Defense. This branch has been a strategic partner with NEMA in disaster management for many years.

Mr. Smith noted that an “extremely active” 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season has been forecast. Hence, the supplies will enable NEMA to also work in a COVID-19 pandemic environment, especially if shelters are activated during a storm.

The U.S. Northern Command, from local businesses, procured the equipment and supplies to support hurricane preparedness and COVID-19 fight, throughout the communities.

The supplies include plastic face shields, safety boots and gloves, spare radio batteries, flashlights, butane canisters, portable stoves, and reflective vests.

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“It is Important to have supplies on hand because The Bahamas is an archipelagic nation and lifesaving support is critical,” Mr. Smith said. He added that the PPE “is very much needed, particularly if we have to shelter persons” amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The supplies will be stored in Emergency Relief Warehouses located on Grand Bahama, New Providence, and Great Inagua, making it easier for NEMA to access and distribute supplies and equipment when a disaster strikes.

Director of NEMA Capt Russell noted that over the past years, three warehouses were built in strategic locations  “to quickly get to an impacted area instead of moving supplies from New Providence to an impacted area.”

Commander Self spoke of the longstanding cooperation between the United States and The Bahamas on disaster preparedness, assuring Mr. Smith that, “we stand by you.”

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Bahamas News

Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Bahamas News

Statement to Update on the Sale of the Grand Lucayan

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“Deal progressing toward closure”

 

#GrandBahama, The Bahamas, October 1, 2022 – The Board of Lucayan Renewal Holdings Limited (LRHL) advises that negotiations toward a successful deal on the Grand Lucayan Resort continue to progress satisfactorily. It was announced in the first week of August in a joint statement with Electra America Hospitality Group that the due diligence period was extended by 45 days to September 15.

By virtue of this, the final closing date was also extended to November 15, 2022. We note that the recent seven-day extension did not impact the agreed November closing date. We anticipate that the sales process will be completed consistent with our revised timelines. The Board of LRHL remains committed to ensuring that a credible plan and shared vision for the resort is realized – a plan that will provide jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities and strengthen Grand Bahama’s economy.

We remain on track for a successful purchase and signing of a Heads of Agreement, in the best interest of the people of Grand Bahama.

There are matters connected to the transaction that are still being negotiated; we look forward to briefing the public as soon as negotiations are concluded.

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MASK AND COVID TESTING MANDATES END FOR THE BAHAMAS

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – The Bahamas is looking ahead to another roll back on restrictions as the precautions set up in response to the coronavirus pandemic fade away.  October 1 ends the mandate for face masks in The Bahamas; it’s another policy being recalled as the world embraces a new normal, where face coverings are optional.

In a snap measure, the minister of health for the Bahamas, Michael Darville also this month ended the COVID 19 testing entry requirement for the unvaccinated.  It makes The Bahamas, as a leading tourism destination, more affordable and more accessible as evidence supports that it does not also mean a spike in Covid cases.

Prime Minister Phillip Davis announced that the mask mandate change from New York, following his appearance at the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and while attending the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.  However, it is not masks off for everyone:  medical facilities, aged care centers and schools will keep the rule.

The decision was met with applause by President of the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union, Darrin Woods who said this move will undoubtedly improve tourism numbers and contribute to the nation’s economic recovery.

Additionally, President of The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association, Robert Sands, said the time for mask mandate and Covid-19 testing for unvaccinated travellers had long passed. He believes that removing this protocol will level the playing field since other rivals in the tourism industry have already done so.

Already, long stay guests to The Bahamas were exempt from mask wearing on hotel properties.

At this point, some 173,000 Bahamas residents have been fully vaccinated and in the September 26 health report; three patients were in intensive care from the virus of the 132 active and only one new case had been recorded in Nassau.

 

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