The Bahamas: Hurricane Dorian - Operation Update n° 6 (MDRBS003)

Situation Report
Originally published
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Description of the disaster

Hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas on 1 September 2019 as the strongest Atlantic Hurricane documented to directly impact a landmass. The islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama and the surrounding Cays sustained the worst impacts with homes, public buildings and other properties swept away or destroyed by massive storm surges. To date, the official overall death toll is 74 with 282 people still unaccounted for. The Government estimates USD3.4 billion in loss and damages caused by Dorian.

Among the government’s efforts to support people in Abaco and Grand Bahama to recover in the aftermath of the hurricane were:

• Provision of home repair assistance, debris removal and reconnection to the main power grid;

• Support for business recovery programmes, educational services, and other social services;

• Support in rebuilding businesses and key infrastructure, including support for small businesses and individual livelihoods;

• Designation of Abaco and Grand Bahama as Economic Recovery Zones with economic concessions such as tax-free food and construction items up to June 2021;

• Disbursement of funds to assist hundreds of micro and small businesses affected by Dorian

• Support with rent payments to landlords, and vouchers for purchase of household items for those displaced by Dorian.

The after-effects of Hurricane Dorian have also figured largely in the 2020/2021 National Budget such the extension of tax relief for affected areas, balanced against the economic pressure on public coffers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, losses suffered by the tourism and hospitality sector, and increased support for public health spending, unemployment services, food assistance and other social welfare services .