Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs, Senator Lucille Moe, speaking during today’s press briefing on the national telethon in aid of The Bahamas at Government headquarters. Looking on is Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, David Comissiong and Planning and Business Development Manager at CDEMA, Andria Grosvenor. (S.Austin/BGIS)

Barbadians at home and in the diaspora are being encouraged to support the national telethon on Sunday, September 8, to raise funds for the Bahamas, which was devastated by Hurricane Dorian a few days ago.

Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs, Senator Lucille Moe, said the telethon will be held at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, The Pine, St. Michael, between 3:00 and 10:00 p.m.

Senator Moe further stated that the telethon would be broadcast live on television, on various radio stations and also streamed on the media houses’ platforms.

“We are also offering the stream to other individuals in Barbados, so that way we are able to reach just about anyone, regardless of whether they are here locally or if they are abroad,” she explained.

She noted that members of the public could make donations to the CDEMA Barbados Bahamas Relief Fund account number 1001186684, which is located at CIBC First Caribbean International Bank.

In addition, she stated, they could also make pledges on Sunday by calling or visiting CBC.  She added that the Ticketlinkz platform would be used, where persons could use their debit or credit cards.

Senator Moe said that because of Bahamas’ distance from Barbados, it was better to send cash for the country to purchase needed items.  “The Bahamas is in the western Caribbean, so logistically, it is very difficult for us to send supplies as we would normally do in these types of disasters when they occur in the eastern Caribbean….

“Therefore, we are encouraging all Barbadians, both here and abroad in the diaspora, to contribute to this worthy cause,” she urged.

Minister Moe called on all religious organizations, whether they worshipped on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, to take up “a special collection” on behalf of the people of the Bahamas, which could then be donated.

Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, David Comissiong, described the telethon as a demonstration of CARICOM in action, and working.  He too called on Barbadians to support Bahamas in its time of need.

“We must develop a way of thinking in the Caribbean where, if something touches one, it touches all.  If damage is done to one, we are not going to leave any one country alone to have to face an emergency simply on its own resources, having to rebuild simply by itself.

“Our mindset is that we…will be our brothers and sisters’ keepers and we will come to each other’s assistance…. We know Barbados has been going through a very difficult economic experience. We know that things are difficult for many Barbadians, but we have to acknowledge that right now, today, we are so much more fortunate than the people of the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama. They are now grappling with, in some cases, total destruction of their homes…loss of relatives and at their wits’ end to determine what’s next for them,” Mr. Comissiong stated.

The Ambassador and Minister Moe noted that no donation would be seen as too small.

Planning and Business Development Manager at CDEMA, Andria Grosvenor, thanked Government for hosting the national telethon.  She recalled that Hurricane Dorian was a Category 5, when it hit Bahamas, with winds of 185 miles per hour and gusts that went up to 225 mph.

“This hurricane stood over the Bahamas for almost 68 hours and the southern eye wall pounded Grand Bahama, in particular, for about 30 hours. This was a significant impact. The devastation is reported to be unprecedented and extensive,” Mrs. Grosvenor stated.

She pointed out that the Government of Bahamas had identified a preliminary needs list, and added that cash donations were preferred because of the challenges in getting certain supplies to the Bahamas.

She noted that Bahamas, like Barbados, was considered a high middle income country. Therefore, she said, its options for recovery financing would be constrained because it was not considered eligible for overseas development assistance.

During the telethon, entertainers will perform at intervals and there will be inspirational messages from various persons, including Prime Ministers in the region whose countries were hit in the past by storms, citizens of the Bahamas and religious groups.

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