Barbadians and other Caribbean nationals are being encouraged to send cash to support the Hurricane Dorian relief effort in the northern Bahamas, as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) prepares to mount a massive humanitarian mission.
CDEMA’S Executive Director Ronald Jackson told reporters at a news conference at CDEMA’s Lower Estate, St Michael headquarters that donating money at this time is the best thing that can be done in the face of uncertainty.
He pointed out that The Bahamas was still going through the process of evaluating the extent of damages on the affected islands, and calculating what assistance will be needed.
Jackson said: “It also reduces the burden because we know people are all wanting to support, so they may be doing their relief drive to collect items at different locations, but that then has to be packaged and shipped and received, unpacked, repacked and then distributed. That takes time and it takes additional resources. So nothing is too small.”
People who want to make cash contributions may deposit it to CDEMA’s emergency fund, the CARICOM disaster management chief said, adding that information on the fund is available on CDEMA’s website, CDEMA.org.
Jackson also noted that the Bahamian government is expected to announce plans as to how persons can donate funds directly to the Bahamian people.
“That’s the best you can do at this point because if you overwhelm the system then you are also going to slow down the ability to deal with resources getting in and also the distribution process,” he said.
The northern Bahamas have been devastated by Dorian, described by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis as a “historic tragedy”.
Severe flooding and winds reaching 180-miles per hour have led to seven confirmed deaths and wrecked thousands of homes.
The Category 5 hurricane landed on Grand Bahama Island late Sunday, and stalled over the populous island, home to the second-largest city Freeport, with torrential downpours and destructive winds. (AH)