NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is distributing food vouchers to assist 500 of the most vulnerable families living on hurricane-stricken Abaco.
Each voucher will provide a family with a two-month supply of food – including meat, fish and fresh produce – and the ability to purchase other essential household items, according to a press release.
Recipients will be able to redeem their voucher at the main supermarket in Marsh Harbour, giving them choice and a sense of normalcy amid the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian in September 2019.
“With the largest supermarket reopening, these vouchers will provide families, who have so far primarily depended on external assistance to meet their essential needs, with purchasing power and the option to buy preferred food and products,” said Regis Chapman, Emergency Coordinator and Head of WFP Barbados Multi-Country Office for the Caribbean.
“This food voucher assistance is a way to support people’s choice and dignity in what is still a very difficult situation for hundreds of families who lost everything.”
Hurricane Dorian, a Category-5 storm, hit the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama on September 1, killing 70 people, leaving thousands homeless and causing billions of dollars in damages. It was the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Bahamas and the worst disaster in its history.
WFP’s voucher programme will reach the most vulnerable families on the Abaco islands and neighbouring cays, thanks to contributions from the United States Agency for International Development, in collaboration with Samaritan’s Purse and in support of the Government-led response.
The families receiving vouchers were selected by a WFP-led needs assessment, carried out in collaboration with the Government and other humanitarian organisations, to determine the ongoing needs of affected households.
Since emergency operations began in September, WFP has supported the Government-led response with food security, logistics and emergency telecommunication technical expertise, services and assets.