27 November 2017
During early September 2017, Hurricane Irma, a powerful category 5 hurricane impacted Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Anguilla, Virgin Islands and Florida in the United States of America as well as Cuba with strong winds, heavy rains and coastal floods. In Cuba alone, 10 people were killed and more than 10 million people were affected in 14 out of the country’s 15 provinces. According to reports, 90% of the national territory reported different extent of damages in shelter, energy and water supply. Over 158,000 homes, 960 medical clinics and 1,400 educational facilities were damaged. In addition, the hurricane has severely affected the agricultural sector, with over 390,000 hectares of crops destroyed.
In Cuba, two months after the Hurricane recovery efforts have slowly begun with the support of the Cuban Government, however it is likely to take time as the damaged caused has been extensive.
Red Cross Red Crescent Actions
On 15 September 2017, the International Red Cross launched an emergency appeal and was revised up to HKD 62 million on 28 September to reflect the huge needs according to assessment. The revised plan aim to assist 25,000 people with immediate household items, shelter assistance, safe water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion. The Cuban Red Cross has mobilized over 12,000 volunteers to support the emergency response activities, including the evacuation of 5,000 people, conducting first aid, psycho-social support, distribution of relief items and tracing activities.
Hong Kong Red Cross Actions
Hong Kong Red Cross has mobilized HK$200,000 to support the relief efforts in Cuba via the International Red Cross
Please call 2802 0016, fax to 2802 0017 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers from the Cuban Red Cross support with evacuations in the hurricane affected communities. Photo credit: Cuba Red Cross