Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis met with USAID (United States Agency for International Development) officials on Sunday, 8 September, to solidify how the organization can best support Hurricane Dorian relief and recovery efforts in The Bahamas.
A USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) is on the ground in The Bahamas to lead the U.S. government’s humanitarian response to the Category 5 storm that devastated parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama. Prime Minister Minnis thanked the Agency for its support and assistance.
“President Donald Trump has been a true friend to The Bahamas,” said Prime Minister Minnis. “He has authorized a full and complete response from the Government of the United States. President Trump’s assistance has helped saved lives through the emergency airlift from the Coast Guard and other agencies of the United States. I thank President Trump and the government and people of the United States of America.” Mark Green, USAID Administrator, told Prime Minister Minnis that he looked forward to working closely with the Government of The Bahamas to provide assistance to the residents affected by Hurricane Dorian.
“We commend your leadership and are committed to standing with and helping you during these challenging times,” Mr. Green told Prime Minister Minnis. “This is your response and your country and we look forward to working with you.” The USAID team is being led by Tim Callaghan of Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance/USAID, a senior regional advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean. Mr. Callaghan worked on recovery efforts in Dominica, which was decimated by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and on St. Martin also in 2017 following Hurricane Dorian.
The Prime Minister said the Government is committed to cutting the red tape that slows down the relief process. He noted that among the most immediate needs are temporary housing facilities for residents who have lost their homes. A USAID 50-member team is assisting the Royal Bahamas Police and Defence forces with search and recovery efforts on Abaco.
Its shelter specialists are also assessing the communities of Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay to identify appropriate sites. Minister of Education, the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd and US Embassy Charge d’Affaires Stephanie Bowers, and other USAID officials attended the meeting.