Photo Credit: courtesy, IsraAID
IsraAID volunteer surveys damage in Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian

An emergency response team from Israel’s humanitarian organization, IsraAID immediately began needs assessments and relief distributions last Thursday when it arrived in the Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands, the areas that were the worst affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.

IsraAID’s team is now working together in partnership with the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation to form a network of local, community-based organizations to coordinate relief efforts across Grand Bahama island.

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The initial plan focused on distributing relief supplies to all residents of Grand Bahama, providing urgent water, sanitation, and hygiene support, meeting immediate protection needs, providing psychological first aid, and coordinating relief efforts on the island.

A second group of IsraAID Emergency Response team members arrived in the Bahamas on Monday, and included water, sanitation, and hygiene and psychosocial support specialists. The organization also deployed an emergency response specialist to Florida to coordinate relief shipments to the Bahamas.

Hurricane Dorian was the most powerful hurricane to hit the Bahamas in the country’s history, with peak sustained winds of 295 km/h. At least 45 people were killed, with the death toll expected to rise as hundreds – possibly thousands – are still missing.

“The needs on the ground are urgent,” said a spokesperson for the organization. “In response the ongoing and devastating humanitarian crisis, IsraAID’s team will continue working with community and government organizations to deliver relief now and support long-term recovery efforts.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.