Haiti – Bahamas : The Haitian community is not doing well
Haitians living in the Bahamas have suffered a severe economic blow with the closures and limitations imposed by the health authorities due to the Covid-19 pandemic which made it very difficult to work and provide for the needs of their family explained Reverend Jean Paul Charles, Pastor of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Berean in Nasseau and President of the League of Haitian Pastors.
Continuing, “The Haitian community is not doing too well at the moment because of the pandemic […] many of them are no longer working and they are not benefiting from the aid program in the Bahamas. It’s difficult in the Haitian community… people are asking for help […] The Haitian community, not just the pastors, but the community as a whole, we share all we can […]”
Recall that in March, when the first cases of Covid-19 appeared, the Government urged the Haitian community to immediately provide information on symptoms or possible exposure to the coronavirus regardless of the person’s migration status. A poor appeal, our compatriots fearing deportation remained in hiding. There is no official data on the number of Covid-19 cases in the Haitian community…
Reverend Jean Paul Charles said the Haitian community, especially in the slums, continues to try to follow social distancing protocols stressing “but at the same time you can’t control anyone…” adding that while churches are preparing to reopen, the appropriate requirements and protocols will be implemented to ensure compliance with mask wear, sanitation and social distancing.
Today in the Bahamas the toll is 2,721 confirmed cases and 63 dead, while the Covid-19 remains very active and circulates in the archipelago despite measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Out of a population of 390,208 inhabitants living in the archipelago of the Bahamas, the number of Haitians is estimated at 80,000 (+/- 20%) of which more than 50,000 are said to be in an irregular migratory situation. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), considers that Haitians form the major part of the migrant population in the Bahamas.