• On 5 September, WFP launched a 3-month Limited Emergency Operation valued at USD 5.4 million.
• On 4 and 6 September, aerial and ground assessments shed light on the mass devastation.
• On 6 September, VSATs, mobile storage, and ready-to-eat-meals were dispatched to the islands.
• 70,000+ persons are possibly affected on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama islands
• 30 casualties have been reported so far, while thousands remain missing.
• Preliminary estimates suggest livelihood and property damage of over USD 7 billion.
• The UN released USD 1 million from CERF to kick-start relief efforts.
• As more international actors arrive, the office of the Prime Minister and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) are leading partner-wide coordination meetings.
Highlights of WFP Response
• CDEMA and WFP are developing a logistics operations plan, including a scale up of logistics coordination capacities and assets.
• WFP’s staff, embedded within national and regional mechanisms, continue to support rapid assessments & response.
• A WFP chartered aircraft carrying 14,700 individual meals-ready-to-eat (MREs), logistical and telecommunications equipment arrived in Nassau on 6 September, and were immediately loaded to ship to the islands.
• At the request of CDEMA, among this equipment includes 8 Mobile Storage Units (MSU), 4 generators, 6 prefab offices and 5 VSATs to address logistical and telecommunications gaps where needed.
• WFP has a team of 15 experts in emergency operations & coordination on the ground.
Initial Assessment Observations
• Four WFP staff joined the NEMA/CDEMA aerial reconnaissance missions over the two impacted islands on 4 September.
• On 6 September, at the request of the Office of the Prime Minister, WFP deployed a small team to begin installation of emergency telecommunications equipment (VSAT) in Marsh Harbour, Abaco. While there, the team undertook a rapid assessment.
• Assessments for Abaco found wide-spread destruction, with thousands of houses levelled, telecommunications towers down, and roads blocked; in Marsh Harbour, an estimated 90% of the infrastructure appears damaged. The Government Building, the Medical Centre and the Anglican Church are housing thousands of displaced people – including women, young children and other vulnerable groups. Living conditions are rapidly deteriorating with limited or no water, electricity, and sanitation. With improved access (airport in Marsh Harbour newly re-opened), some supplies are arriving including some minimal food and water. The needs remain enormous. Evacuations are slowly taking place by ferry, as hundreds of residents reportedly flee daily.
• In Grand Bahama, an estimated 300 homes scattered from Deep Water Cay to Freetown have been destroyed or severely damaged. Unconfirmed reports suggest high damage in High Rock. Further assessment required.
• Aerial assessments indicate GSM connectivity. Intermittent connectivity was reported on Abaco, especially over Sandy Point. Further ground assessment required to identify gaps.