6 November 2012
The British Red Cross is sending support worth £80,000 to relief operations in Cuba and Jamaica, to help the Caribbean islands recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. It will provide 2,000 hygiene parcels and 2,000 buckets to Cuba, and 500 hygiene parcels and 500 cleaning kits to Jamaica. It will also help the Cuban and Jamaican Red Cross with the cost of running their response programmes.
75,000 Cubans displaced
Hurricane Sandy hit Cuba as a category two hurricane on 25 October, with an ocean storm surge over 10 metres high.
The Cuban government, with the assistance of the Cuban Red Cross, had worked hard to prepare for the storm – including evacuating over 343,000 vulnerable people to emergency shelters. However, there was significant damage throughout several provinces, with the city of Santiago most severely affected.
Eleven people died, and more than 75,000 people have been displaced. Around 200,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, and 30,000 hectares of agricultural lands and crops has been lost.
The Cuban Red Cross plans to support 150,000 affected people for twelve months, primarily focusing on shelter. It will also give relief items to 50,000 beneficiaries and provide people with safe water for two months.
14 Jamaican hospitals severely damaged
On Wednesday 24 October, Sandy hit Jamaica as a category one hurricane. One person was killed, and several injured.
To prepare for the hurricane, the Jamaica Red Cross pre-positioned relief items in Saint Thomas, Portland and St Mary – the worst-affected parishes. This included 350 food parcels, 420 hygiene kits, 335 jerry cans, 770 tarpaulins, and 240 blankets. The Jamaican Red Cross also provided support to people in communal shelters after the storm.
Three primary schools, 14 hospitals, 22 health clinics and 3,600 houses were severely damaged. Thousands of hectares of crops have been destroyed, including home garden trees that many families rely on to earn a living. In total, 31,000 farmers were affected, and food insecurity is expected to increase over the coming months.
To help people recover, the Jamaican Red Cross plans to help 17,000 people for nine months. As well as providing relief items, psychosocial support and emergency shelter, it will run violence prevention campaigns, run programmes to prevent disease outbreaks, and help people recover their livelihoods.
Donate to the Hurricane Sandy Appeal