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UNICEF REPORT: 350K Caribbean Children In Dire Humanitarian Need After Hurricanes Passed

HAVANA — Though three months has passed since hurricanes Maria and Irma terrorized and destroyed Caribbean islands, thousands of children remain without basic necessities, clean water, social services and shelter, United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, said.

“Even before the hurricanes hit, UNICEF was on the ground, working with governments and local partners to prepare communities and preposition humanitarian supplies for the areas at highest risk,” said Latin America and Caribbean regional UNICEF director Maria Cristina Perceval.

Hurricane Irma wrought havoc in Haiti, Cuba, and the Eastern Caribbean islands.

Maria, however, pulverized the region, UNICEF said, leaving an estimated 350,000 children in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

“Three months on, Unicef is still on the ground in these countries and territories, working on programs to support children and families in rebuilding their lives and returning to a sense of normalcy,” Perceval said.

“While life is returning to normal for many, children and families who have lived through these storms will need committed, sustained support to get their homes, communities, and lives back on track,” added Perceval.

Over 35 percent of Dominica’s children are without educational activities, many of these are also homeless since the devastating tropical storms.

Through UNICEF’s efforts and with support from governments and NGO partners from around the Caribbean, communities have begun to rebuild with new programs aimed at long-term recovery and resilience.

A few of thee include training activities led by the Health, Education and Human Development ministries as well as services to provide preventative training against gender-based violence, and funding for lifesaving assistance programs and clean water initiatives.

RESILIENCE PERSONIFIED: A young survivor of Hurricane Irma in Anguilla this September.

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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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