NASSAU, The Bahamas – Bahamians should not, and must not, live in “isolation” from the rest of the world, as The Bahamas is part of the much wider regional and global village, Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said Monday.
“We must always realize that we cannot live in isolation and that we must try to assist others whenever possible, just as they assist us, as we are a Member State of CARICOM (Caribbean Community) and a Member State of the United Nations,” the Prime Minister said.
“My job as Prime Minister and the Leader of the country is to always look at the big picture and to look at what is in the best interests of our country. Citizens of Dominica have assisted in building The Bahamas to where we are today in terms of their assistance with the Police Force, the education system, the corrections system and even our healthcare system.
“While individuals are entitled to speak their minds with regards to the offers of assistance I have made to Dominica, as Prime Minister, I have to look at the big picture which includes The Bahamas being a Member State of CARICOM and the United Nations,” Prime Minister Minnis added.
Bahamian officials say the humanitarian situation in Dominica is far greater than what could have been imagined. The country is now also facing a potential healthcare crisis as a result of the loss of all of its medical facilities – including hospitals and clinics.
“For all intents and purposes, the main city was under 4 feet of water,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “What is remarkable is that you can see the trauma still on the face of the people. In spite of that, they are all working together cleaning the country.
“There are still challenges with the medical fraternity and being a part of CARICOM, I have offered medical assistance. I will meet with the Minister of Health and see how we can assist in that area. Medical service is greatly needed and I think if we were in a similar situation we would have been seeking assistance not only from First World countries, but also from our neighbouring CARICOM countries.”
Prime Minister Minnis said a number of regional and global countries are in Dominica lending whatever assistance they can to help rebuild the country.
“They are being assisted by the U.S., by the Dutch, by the Canadians, by Venezuela, by CARICOM and other countries (both small and large),” Prime Minister Minnis said.
The Prime Minister announced during a press briefing upon his return to the capitalMonday that a number of Bahamians have made monetary donations to assist the citizens of Dominica. He applauded them for those donations.
“A number of Bahamians, citizens from the private sector, have came forth and have given me $60,000 to give to Dominica to assist them in addition to the other supplies and different things we are about to do,” Prime Minister Minnis said.
“I am certain that after Bahamians see what has happened there and become more cognizant of what has happened, they will give further donations,” Prime Minister Minnis added.
By Matt Maura
Bahamas Information Services