While in New York City at the 74th United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis met up with Bahamians living in the city to discuss the need for long-term help to recover from Hurricane Dorian, especially during the reconstruction of the devastated areas of Abaco and Grand Bahama.
“It is a task bigger than The Bahamas,” said the prime minister on Thursday night.
“We are going to need the private sector, at home and abroad, and all of the assistance we can get from international partners.”
Minnis reported that the government’s priority is to set up temporary housing for those who have lost their homes. He also provided an update on the establishment of the new Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction to help coordinate recovery and reconstruction, and designated economic recovery zones in East Grand Bahama, Abaco and the Abaco Cays for an initial period of three years.
The prime minister informed the Bahamians that coordinators and teams are on the ground to oversee recovery efforts, and that officials are working to continue to get assistance and aid to those who have lost their homes and their possessions.
Along with many international partners, the government is also working to continue to provide food and water as well as healthcare.
“We must, and we will rebuild, and restore Grand Bahama and Abaco,” said Minnis.
“We must make them stronger and more resilient.”
Minnis added that The Bahamas will also have to begin to fortify its other islands in the face of rising sea levels and future hurricane seasons.
He urged Bahamians in New York to donate to NEMA and NGOs and to reach out to The Bahamas’ United Nations Mission or other relevant ministries and agencies back home if they have concrete ideas or suggestions.