UN development agency working with Cuban government in areas hard-hit by Hurricane Matthew

Just Earth News 12 Nov 2016, 05:13 am Print


New York, Nov 12 (Just Earth News): The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is cooperating with Cuban authorities to support early recovery in Baracoa, Maisí, Imías and San Antonio del Sur, the areas of the island nation most-affected by Hurricane Matthew.

UNDP has already delivered 9,000 plastic tarpaulins for roofs and 5,740 mattresses to the Port of Santiago, to assist the needs of the population as a part of its Action Plan in Cuba. This was UNDP’s second delivery, after sending 9,700 tarpaulins and 20 mills to transform debris into building materials.

In addition, UNDP has also supported a Government-led early recovery process that aims to provide roofs immediately, create housing solutions, create jobs and facilitate the recovery of the local economy, recover affected ecosystems and improve the hydraulic and meteorological early warning system. Specialized tools, zinc sheets, and roofing modules will be purchased to provide a durable housing solution for 14,300 families.

“Cuba has a strong understanding of risks and has been investing in the prevention of natural disasters, and UNDP has always supported their efforts. An example of that was the response to Hurricane Sandy where we worked together to rebuild houses with the participation of communities,” Myrta Kaulard, UNDP Resident Representative in Cuba stated. She also complimented the effort of the local authorities to save lives and recover the infrastructure.

Hurricane Matthew hit the Eastern provinces of Cuba on 4 October with winds of 200-250 km/hr and waves up to eight meters high. More than 600,000 people were affected, and 38,000 homes damaged, officials estimated.

With more than 40 years of experience in Cuba, UNDP has initiated, hand in hand with local authorities, an early and resilient recovery process, with emphasis on rebuilding houses, to address the immediate needs and lay the foundations for a long-term recovery and strengthening the capacities of affected communities.