IOM Scales Up Response to Hurricane Dorian Damage in The Bahamas


Nassau – During the next weeks, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will increase its support to survivors of Hurricane Dorian by managing shelters, providing essential household items to displaced families, supporting debris removal operations and deploying its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) to provide accurate information on the needs of the affected population.  

This support will be possible thanks to USD 1.9 million granted this week by the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).  

With these funds, IOM will continue supporting the Government of The Bahamas, in the wake of the catastrophe that has left 53 dead, 600 missing and tens of thousands displaced to less affected areas of the country.  

“Many of the households currently residing in the collective centres did not bring enough items with them to meet their basic needs. The facilities are not equipped to cope with prolonged inhabitation of large amounts of people and lack resources to meet the basic needs of the affected population,” said Jan-Willem Wegdam, head of the IOM Emergency Response Team in The Bahamas. “IOM will manage shelters and provide training in camp management and coordination and, if necessary, equipment of collective centres, upgrades, and repairs to existing buildings, and provision of latrines, bathing stations, and non-food item kits.”  

To ease the return of displaced families, IOM will aid Bahamian authorities in debris and rubble removal operations, increasing access to homes and critical infrastructure. IOM’s debris management activities will focus on clearing of roads and drainage channels, using a combination of partners, contractors and, where necessary, cash for work. IOM will collect debris and rubble from collection points in public space and take it to centres for triage and onwards disposal. Care will be taken with regard to specific debris such as cars or boats that are found on public ground and may have a recycle value.  

Where families can return to their homes but require tools and materials to carry out small-scale rehabilitations, IOM will provide toolkits and necessary training to family members. This intervention will prevent the overcrowding of collective centres and support households returning home as quickly as possible, when safe to do so.  

Accurate, reliable and up-to-date information will be available through the roll-out of IOM’s DTM activities and coordination to identify, register and monitor displaced households, particularly in the most affected communities in Grand Bahama, the Abaco Islands, and New Providence islands.  

DTM will provide Bahamian authorities and international partners with updated demographics and population data for residents in collective centres as well as in communities hosting the displaced population.  

IOM will also support the Bahamian Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development to monitor the missing persons list. 

For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 7203 6536, Email: 

  • IOM will aid Bahamian authorities in debris and rubble removal operations, increasing access to homes, and critical infrastructure. Photo: IOM / Jorge Gallo