The impact of Hurricane Joaquin on the Southern Bahamas is, in a word, horrifying. The hurricane which hovered over the southern Bahamas for almost two days with winds of more than 130 mph ravaged the islands leaving many homeless and without any possessions.

BFSB and the Association of International Banks and Trust Companies in The Bahamas (AIBT) have mounted a fundraising initiative to raise more than $30,000 from its member firms to aid those whose homes and possessions have been lost to the fury of Joaquin.

BFSB CEO Aliya Allen said *”Working together we believe we can make a bigger impact than alone and as such are committed to raise at least $30,000 in the next few weeks. If each member firm gave $250 we would be more than three quarters of the way to our goal.”*

She said cheques should be made payable to the Bahamas Financial Services Board or the Association of International Banks and Trust Companies (AIBT) with the reference “FS Cares”.

The Financial Services Care Initiative will purchase priority items as identified by relief organizations concentrating for the moment on medical supplies and personal hygiene items; food and water; generators; and bedding.

All funds received will be channelled toward Joaquin relief and BFSB and AIBT members will receive a full accounting of how funds are spent and disbursed.

*”Of course we encourage member firms to give as much as they are able to and also applaud the work that many of them are already doing to collect items for those affected by Joaquin,”* said Ms. Allen.

Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas, and Freeport, the country’s other major city on Grand Bahama Island, did not suffer any damage from Joaquin. The islands most impacted were Long Island, San Salvador, Long Cay, Rum Cay and Crooked Island.