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Mass Vaccinations started in The Bahamas



#TheBahamas, May 28, 2021 – While The Bahamas has managed to get through 50,000 shots or 58 percent of its Covid-19 vaccines with first jabs administered, second shots are way down, barely past 6,000 hence the shift to mass vaccinations which are now happening at sites around the country. 

The data came on Sunday when Dr. Merceline Dahl Regis, special health advisor to the Prime Minister  joined him for a national update.

“We have an new opportunity to manage this Covid-19 pandemic… as of Friday, the 21st of May, a total of 50,242 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine had been administered to Bahamians and residents on NP, Grand Bahamas and throughout the Family islands.  The total number of doses include:  44,226 first doses and 6,016 second doses.  Four thousand eight hundred and 93 of the second doses had been administered in New Providence and 1,123 second doses in Grand Bahama,” said Dr. Dahl-Regis in her presentation carried live on television and social media.

Dr. Dahl Regis, explains the committee managing the roll out is pleased with the process and over the coming days, some 11,000 shots are expected to be given as The Bahamas works though its 87,200 doses of the AstraZeneca Vaccine.

Following a successful roll out in the Family Islands last month we expect to start administering second doses in the islands during the month of June in accordance with the recommended 8 to 12 week spacing between doses. As you can see from the dashboard, first doses of the vaccine have been administered on a total of 14 Family Islands and cays.”

Nine weeks into vaccinations, The Bahamas, through the COVAX facility is expected to get more vaccines. The shots, said Dr Dahl Regis, are working to reduce infections and chronic cases.

We are fortunate to have received COVID-19 vaccines when there is a worldwide shortage. To date, The Bahamas has received 87,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This includes 20,000 doses from the Government of India and 67,200 doses, pre-paid, through the COVAX Facility with the assistance of the Pan-American Health Organization and Inter-American Development Bank. The Bahamas is also expected to receive an additional 33,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX Facility by the end of this month,” she said.

Taking the vaccine has been highest among the retired and unemployed; health care, government workers, uniformed branches, domestic and construction workers fall somewhere in the middle of the uptake chart produced by the Ministry and Health and agriculture sector workers have been least administered the vaccine.

Bahamas News

CIBS FirstCaribbean Aids Hands For Hunger Food Security Commitment



#TheBahamas, December 7, 2021 – In January alone, nearly 30,000 pounds of food was distributed to Bahamians in need by Hands For Hunger.

As March approaches and the National Food Distribution Task Force is expected to cease, the non-profit organization has already committed to continue supporting communities still in need and CIBC FirstCaribbean recently made a donation to Hands For Hunger to assist with its efforts.

Ms. Keisha Ellis, Hands For Hunger’s Executive Director underscored that many families never imagined they would ever need food assistance “so we are happy to be able to step in with boxes of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and wholegrains to provide some comfort in these difficult times.”

With the bank’s support, those families, as well as senior citizen and children’s homes, and other community organizations, will remain on the receiving end of food deliveries and vouchers.

“It’s these donations that are really the difference between us getting food to our agencies one week and not getting it there during another”, said Ms. Ellis who is “grateful for the support from CIBC.”

Mrs. Nikia Christie, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Marketing Manager, commended Hands For Hunger for its unwavering commitment to the thousands it serves.

“We know that 90% of every dollar given goes directly into food purchases and that your turn around time on turning funds to food for families is astounding.”

She continued, “The bank recognizes Hands For Hunger’s balancing act as it continues distributing to its partner agencies and now commits to doing the same for those impacted by COVID-19.

“Like so many non-profit organizations across the country, you have gone above and beyond for Bahamians in need.”

Hands For Hunger has regularly served forty partner agencies for over ten years. Task Force Operations became a second arm of the organization due to the increased food insecurity brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

Ms. Ellis said the introduction of the Task Force “was a really interesting challenge because prior to COVID-19, about 98% of Hands For Hunger’s outreach was through its agencies.”

This percentage shifted as the organization took on 6,000 families in the southwestern and southeastern parts of New Providence.

CIBC FirstCaribbean has assisted in the fight against COVID-19 and its dire impacts through the donation of hygiene and school supplies to classrooms, personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline healthcare workers, and financially supporting children’s homes, The Salvation Army, Bahamas Red Cross, Great Commission Ministries, Lend A Hand Bahamas, and now Hands For Hunger.

The bank also carried out a number of initiatives, such as the CIBC FirstCaribbean Unsung Frontline Hero competition, and COVID-19 relief to eligible clients through moratoria and other special relief offerings.


Press Release: CIBC FirstCaribbean

PhotoCaption: CIBC FirstCaribbean recently made a donation to Hands For Hunger to assist with its efforts in the fight against food insecurity. Photo Credit:

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Bahamas News

Bahamas Feeding Network and Bahamas Rotary Clubs Donate $35,000 in Fight Against Hunger



#TheBahamas, December 7, 2021 – The Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN) and the Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas (RCOB) kickstarted the month of December with a wave of giving by distributing $35,000, in increments of $1,000 to $5,000, to 11 organizations during a presentation at Moseff House in Fox Hill.

“The money that we’re distributing today came from wholesalers and we would like to say a very special thank you to them for making today possible,” said Bahamas Feeding Network Executive Director, Philip Smith. Funds will be shared among churches and feeding centres to help feed those in their communities.

On World Food Day in October, BFN and RCOB raised and donated a total of $55,000 to launch the feeding initiative. In addition to the joint-partnership, four wholesalers including AML Foods, Jamaica Bahama Imports, Milo Butler Distributors and Bahamas International Foods donated a collective $35,000 for the second round of giving. Each donation is redeemable for purchase at any of the listed wholesalers.

Carla Stubbs expressed her excitement with those at the press conference.

“It is always our pleasure to partner with persons who are doing good in the world, said Rotary Assistant Governor, Carla Card-Stubbs. “I want to thank the partners and the vendors who have accommodated and facilitated this. When we conceived this program, we knew that there are different feeding programs, but we also knew that there were persons in society still being left out and that were falling through the cracks, so the choice of these organizations was deliberate.”

Recipients of the second round of donations included The Salvation Army, Bilney Lane Children’s Home, Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home, Bethel Baptist Church, Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Lighthouse Church of God, Bread Basket Ministries, Jehovah Jireh, Cornerstone Out Reach, Helping Others and First Baptist Church.

“The donation made today which was quote timely will assist the Children of the Bilney Lane Children’s Home,” said Bilney Lane Children’s Home Administrator Sharon Williams. “We are a small home and sometimes we feel that we are alone. So today, like no other day, we thank you for partnering with us and assisting us to meet the needs of the children. It will go a very long way. Like the scripture ‘To the least of us you have done unto me’, that sticks out when I see organizations like Rotary and BFN willing to help and support.”

Ray Nairn the Administrator Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home said how the donation would assist the 24 children between the ages of 11-18 who live in the home.

“It’s a great feeling to get a donation and we surely will make sure that it goes a long way keeping the kids satisfied and fed over the next few months or as long as it lasts,” said Nairn.

“As we give to the poor, we are literally giving to God and there is nothing more important than giving to God,” said Philip Smith. “One true way of getting peace is through giving.”


Press Release: Bahamas Feeding Network

Photo Caption: Bahamas Feeding Network and Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas donate $35,000 to 11 organizations. Front row, pictured l-r: Carla Card-Stubbs, Assistant Governor, Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas and Philip Smith, Executive Director, Bahamas Feeding Network. Back row, pictured l-r: Kevin Hall, The Breadbasket; Genevea Dean, First Baptist Church; Ray Nairn, Administrator, Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home; Pastor Sonia Rolla, Cornerstone Outreach Ministries; Eleanor Williams, First Baptist Church; Theodora Sargeant-Poitier, Jehovah Jireh Ministries International; Divisional Commander Roodolph Meo, The Salvation Army; Sharon Williams, Bilney Lane Children’s Home; Lisa Armbrister, The Salvation Army; Diana Andrews, Helping Others; Jacqueline Dorsett, Mt. Olive Baptist Church . Not pictured is Rev. Eileen Johnson, Lighthouse Fellowship Church of God. (Photo by Cay Focus Photography for DPA.)


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Bahamas News

LaRoda, Musgrove, continue tradition of dialogue between Bahamas, TCI



#TheBahamas, December 7, 2021 – Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks & Caicos Islands Government, the Hon. Arlington A. Musgrove, Monday (December 6) paid a Courtesy Call on Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Myles LaRoda, at Minister LaRoda’s Offices located Dockendale House, West Bay Street.

Mr. Musgrove, who also has remit for Customs, Disaster Management, the Airport and Seaport Authorities, and Civil Aviation Authority, was accompanied by Dr. Holly Hamilton, the Director of Meteorology, Turks & Caicos Island Airport Authority (TCIAA); Mr. Mark Wilkinson, Radio Communications and Telecommunications Specialist, the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) within the TCI Government, and Ms. Karen Higgs, Personal Assistant to Minister Musgrove.

State-Minister LaRoda, who has remit for Disaster Management, the National Insurance Board, the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas and Bahamas Information Services among his portfolio responsibilities, was accompanied by Mr. Carl F. Smith, Permanent Secretary. Also in attendance was Mr. Jeffrey Simmons, of The Bahamas’ Department of Meteorology.

Monday’s Courtesy Call and subsequent meeting allowed the two Ministers to continue the longstanding relationship, dialogue, cooperation and tradition of collaboration “on every level” between the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos Islands that has existed since the 1800s.

The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Islands also help to comprise the 19 Participating States of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), which is the regional inter-governmental agency for disaster management that falls directly under the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Its role is to be the facilitator, driver, coordinator and motivating force to the promotion and engineering of Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) in all Participating States.

Established in 1991 as CDERA (the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency) with primary responsibility for the coordination of emergency response and relief efforts to Participating States in need of such assistance, the Agency transitioned to CDEMA in 2009 to fully embrace the principles and practice of Comprehensive Disaster Management – an integrated and proactive approach to disaster management and seeks to reduce the risks and losses associated with natural and technological hazards and the effects of Climate Change, to enhance regional sustainable development.

CDEMA’s functions are as follows: mobilising and coordinating disaster relief; mitigating or eliminating, as far as practicable, the immediate consequences of disasters in Participating States; providing immediate and coordinated response by means of emergency disaster relief to any affected Participating State; securing, coordinating and providing to interested inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations reliable and comprehensive information on disasters affecting any Participating State; encouraging:

(i) the adoption of disaster loss reduction and mitigation policies and practices at the national and regional level; (ii) cooperative arrangements and mechanisms to facilitate the development of a culture of disaster loss reduction; and coordinating the establishment, enhancement and maintenance of adequate emergency disaster response capabilities among the Participating States.

The Bahamas also has a relationship with the Turks & Caicos Island’s Department of Meteorology – through The Bahamas Department of Meteorology — to provide TCI’s aviation Met services. The agreement has been in place for about 10 years. The Bahamas Department of Meteorology is also responsible — through the World Met Organization – for providing hurricane forecasts, issuing Alerts and Warnings for the Turks & Caicos Islands whenever TCI is under threat from Hurricanes.

The two delegations discussed a number of matters of mutual concern to both Small-Island Developing States. Minister LaRoda applauded the continued collaborations.

“At every level, the relationship between The Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos Islands has been a very close, one that goes back for generations,” Mr. LaRoda said.

Minister Musgrove also applauded the collaborations, saying: “You guys have a lot of knowledge and expertise down here and you are our brothers so we can tap into that.”


By Matt Maura

Release: BIS


Photo Caption: Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Disaster Management, the Hon. Myles LaRoda (at right), welcomes Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks & Caicos Islands Government, the Hon. Arlington A. Musgrove, during a Courtesy Call Monday, December 6.  Both men are fully vaccinated and briefly took their masks off for the quick ‘photo opp’ only. Mr. Musgrove also has remit for Customs, Disaster Management, the Airport and Seaport Authorities, and Civil Aviation Authority.

(BIS Photo/Matt Maura)




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