If Haiti needs aid, churches will help

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Christian Council President Bishop Delton Fernander says the body plans to offer aid to Haiti as that nation now looks to begin restoration following a magnitude 5.9 earthquake.

According to Bishop Fernander, the council is waiting for assessments to be completed before aid is sent.

“Oh definitely,” he said when he was contacted by The Tribune and asked whether the BCC was set to give aid to Haiti.

He explained: “All of the denominations, we are a part of an international body, so any denomination that is a part of the council - Baptist, Catholic, Anglican, Seventh-Day Adventist…

“Say I speak for my denomination, we will have a representational group that will go from my denomination internationally and assess Haiti and when they assess Haiti they will come back and say to us ‘here is the state’ and I think some of the initial information has already come back that they need tents and what not and they will ask all of our churches to help.

“Sometimes it seems onerous, but it’s not.

“The same way we were able to provide generators, water and supplies and if you remember during the last hurricane we had a whole shipment come from Florida. Now those are all denominations that were mobilised based on a need and so they will assess the needs, they will make a recommendation to every denomination and we will do what we can.”

He was also asked whether he thought Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis should revisit his position on the country offering aid to Haiti. When asked on Monday whether the government would offer reprieve to those in Haiti affected by the quake, similar to what was done for citizens of Dominica following Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year, Dr Minnis said: “At this point in time I am looking at moving the Bahamas forward, Bahamas first.”

In response, Bishop Fernander said: “I was really hoping that that decision was really based on a national security stance because as a CARICOM partner it means that we will have to do something and a contributing factor of being a part of all of all these treaties we signed on to they will make a report to CARICOM and other groups that we are a part of and they will ask for each member state to do something and so it would be kind of strange for us I would say not to do something.”

On Tuesday Bishop Fernander told The Nassau Guardian it was unfortunate the Bahamas was not considering lending aid to the devastated nation, as was suggested by the prime minister.

He said at the time that Dr Minnis should remember “we are better than that.”