Touring the Abaco islands in the Bahamas devastated by Hurricane Dorian earlier this month, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “the international support will be absolutely essential” to help the communities rebuild and recover.
The Secretary-General visited the Abaco islands together with the Bahamian Prime-Minister Hubert Minnis. They toured the stricken areas in a helicopter provided by the Dutch Royal Navy which dispatched one of its ships to assist in the emergency.
The delegation also visited “The Mud” – a shantytown which was inhabited mainly by migrants and obliterated by the category five hurricane which landed on the northern Bahamian islands from 1 to 3 September.
According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs fifty people have died and many are still missing.
Guterres also met with humanitarian workers at the Emergency Operations Center in Marsh Harbour and said, “I deeply feel enormous gratitude for what you are doing and you can be sure that this generosity that you are showing and effort that you are making is worth it.”
The Secretary-General also said “there is in the international community an idea that middle-income countries should not be supported. It’s a wrong idea.”
The emergency response phase will be followed by “reconstruction, building resilience, recovery,” said Guterres. “And these will require massive investments from the government and from the people. And of course, the international support will be absolutely essential,” he added.
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