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How we helped after the 2008 Caribbean hurricanes

A man writes something while a boy and another man look onIn addition to launching the Caribbean Hurricane Appeal, the British Red Cross donated £170,000 from its Disaster Fund to support the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ emergency response on the islands affected by the hurricanes.

In the immediate aftermath, local Red Cross volunteers provided emotional and practical help for hundreds of thousands of people and distributed tarpaulins, food, clothing, cooking utensils, hygiene items and bedding to affected communities.

Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI)

The British Red Cross secured £145,000 funding from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for a recovery programme, focusing on Grand Turk, where the British Red Cross worked with TCI Red Cross staff and volunteers. Programme activities included:

  • communal sanitation projects in the form of shower and latrine blocks
  • repair and upgrade of the prison sewage system
  • replacing infrastructure lost in the hurricane and improving organisational ability of the TCI Red Cross to prepare for future hurricanes
  • undertaking two in-depth surveys to better understand the needs of a complex community, and advocate on their behalf to local government
  • support development of a strong network of key stakeholders to support disaster response in the future.

The nine-month recovery programme finished in January 2010.

Emergency relief

Before Hurricane Ike hit, the British Red Cross sent two disaster management experts to the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British overseas territory. During and immediately after the hurricane, they worked with local volunteers to evacuate people, run shelters, organise a central feeding station, transport people to hospital, distribute sandbags to keep out floodwaters and hand out clothing and tarpaulins.

Three more disaster management experts were sent after the hurricane hit, to organise two flights of relief supplies, including:

  • 3,100 tarpaulins
  • 5,100 jerry cans and mosquito nets
  • Water purification tablets for 7,500 people
  • 700 stoves, kitchen sets, hygiene sets and shelter kits.

The team worked with local volunteers to distribute the relief supplies in the most-affected areas, including Grand Turk, South Caicos, Salt Cay and Providenciales.

Recovery in other affected islands

In Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica and Bahamas, the Federation and National Societies recovery programmes included providing shelter materials, health education and hygiene promotion, malaria and dengue prevention and psychosocial support for people affected by the hurricanes.

Updated February 2010

More about the Caribbean Hurricane Appeal

Why we needed your help

A donation from our Disaster Fund was made in response to this crisis. Contributions to the Disaster Fund will not be used directly in response to this disaster, but will be used in response to other emergencies in the future.

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