Hurricane Dorian has left at least 50 dead, 2,500 reported missing and 13,000 homes severely damaged or destroyed on the Bahamas' Abaco and Grand Bahama islands - nearly 40 percent of all homes on the two islands. These numbers only begin to hint at the pain Dorian caused at the beginning of September. The Government of the Bahamas has requested help, including from NGOs and humanitarian organizations, to fill identified relief and recovery gaps.
Recognizing the scale of the emergency, a Rapid Assessment Team is being deployed through the ecumenical ACT Alliance, a 140-country coalition of churches and church-related organizations.
The United Church of Christ is an ACT Alliance member, and its Disaster Ministries is supporting the assessment team both financially and with technical expertise. The team will be led by the Servicio Social de Iglesias Dominicanas (SSID) in the Dominican Republic, on behalf of the Caribbean Sub-regional ACT forum. The assessment will identify needs of the affected population, assess local capacities to respond including those of churches, and provide recommendations for a possible ACT Response.
The assessment team includes individuals with experience in island recovery and Creole language skills in order to be able to work with the Haitian population in the Bahamas.
The ACT Secretariat is in touch with ACT members working with local churches and organizations to ensure coordination with the Assessment Team, and sharing information with the World Council of Churches and other actors.