Hurricane Dorian leaves behind massive destruction in the Bahamas

UNICEF and partners are bringing relief for children and families impacted by the storm.

Bahamas. A woman stands with her child at a shelter for those affected by Hurricane Dorian.
UNICEF/UN0342028/Moreno Gonzalez

Hurricane Dorian has left many families in the Bahamas facing devastation. Thousands of children have been exposed to the impact of the hurricane, with many in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, according to initial figures from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. UNICEF is moving quickly to provide life-saving supplies for children and families in need. Read more about UNICEF's response.

Bahamas. An aerial view of Marsh Harbour after being struck by Hurricane Dorian.
UNICEF/UN0343788/Moreno Gonzalez
Marsh Harbour on Abaco Island, the Bahamas, is seen from the air three days after being devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

On 1 September 2019, Category-5 Hurricane Dorian hit Abaco and Grand Bahama islands, leaving behind a path of destruction unprecedented in this Caribbean country. In and around Marsh Harbour, schools and hospitals have been flattened; houses and roads have collapsed; and cars and boats are hanging in trees.

Latest updates

How is UNICEF responding?

On 7 September, UNICEF announced the arrival to Nassau, Bahamas of a plane carrying nearly 1.5 tons of lifesaving supplies that will help provide access to safe water for over 9,500 children and families left reeling by Hurricane Dorian.

This first supply shipment of UNICEF humanitarian items was freighted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and includes over 400,000 water purification tablets, several 5,000-liters tanks for at least 2,000 people and 1,000 jerry cans. 

UNICEF has also deployed staff in the Bahamas to assess the needs of the most vulnerable children and families. The first responder team was composed of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), child protection, emergency coordination and communications experts. Despite the extremely challenging logistic situation on the ground, UNICEF was able to reach Abaco island to assess the extent of the destruction to help inform its humanitarian response plan.

On 12 September, with the support of UNICEF, the Government of the Bahamas began registering approximately 10,000 students displaced by Hurricane Dorian to enroll them back as soon as possible in safe schools that have not been affected by the natural disaster. In addition, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF will also start a series of training of trainers to upgrade the skills of school counselors, teachers, and social workers across the country to deliver psychosocial support and recreational activities to displaced students and children in host communities.