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US donates $3.6m in modular shelters, rescue boats, and construction materials for hurricane response

The Embassy of the United States in Nassau delivered $3.6 million worth of modular shelters, medical evacuation boats, and construction materials to the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction just in time for peak hurricane season.

US Chargé d’Affaires John McNamara delivered the donation to Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction Iram Lewis at Coral Harbour in Nassau, just over two weeks after the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Dorian.

The governments of the United States and The Bahamas continue to cooperate on disaster preparedness and COVID-19 response at the highest levels. This donation is the latest addition to what is now nearly $38 million in assistance from the United States to disaster recovery in The Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian.

Upon delivering the donation, Chargé McNamara said, “Today’s event represents the enduring spirit of friendship between the United States and The Bahamas and our shared commitment to save lives when disaster strikes.”

The modular shelter system can accommodate up to 400 people and includes two kitchens and six latrine/shower units, all of which can be deployed together or separately among several affected islands.

The modular units will allow the government to quickly provide shelter to displaced citizens, or to provide accommodation to disaster response personnel in the wake of a hurricane.

Additionally, the United States donated 12 medical evacuation boats and related equipment — including litters, life vests and trailers — that will help The Bahamas respond quickly to life-threatening floods following a hurricane.

These specialized craft are unsinkable, rust-proof, polyethylene boats with 40hp engines that can reach 20-25 knots in normal conditions and carry up to 12 people (or 2,500 lbs. of cargo).

The boats will go to the islands of Grand Bahama, Bimini, Abaco, Eleuthera, Andros, New Providence, Great Exuma, Cat Island, Long Island, Crooked Island, Acklins and Mayaguana, all of which have received flood water rescue training from U.S. Northern Command.

Finally, the United States is providing construction materials to contribute to the repairs of 12 existing shelters on Grand Bahama damaged during Dorian. These materials will supplement repairs already underway by the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction.

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