Site icon Virgin Islands Free Press

For Some Caribbean Countries, It’s Time To Pick Up The Pieces After Hurricane Elsa

KINGSTOWN — While Hurricane Elsa is currently battering the Caribbean, UNICEF has prepositioned humanitarian supplies for vulnerable families in all countries likely to be affected.

Across the hurricane-hit Caribbean, extreme rainfall and winds are expected to cause infrastructure damage and potential interruption of basic services this weekend in Eastern Caribbean countries, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica, especially in vulnerable coastal areas.

“Hurricane Elsa is the first hurricane of the season, but it certainly won’t be the last one,” said Jean Gough, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Heavy rainfalls and strong winds have now left some parts of the Caribbean without water, electricity and internet. And more are forecast this weekend. Flooding is a real threat now for the most vulnerable families in the next few days. Our teams across the Caribbean are prepared to provide humanitarian assistance to families in need.”

Together with its partners, UNICEF has prepositioned lifesaving supplies and provided services to children and families in several Caribbean countries ahead of the hurricane season:

“Even in the event of a natural disaster, containing the spread of the virus and supporting vaccinations should remain a priority in the Caribbean,” said Jean Gough. “We are concerned that extreme weather conditions during the hurricane season could severely delay the rollout of ongoing vaccination campaigns across the region in a critical moment in the fight against COVID-19.”

This year, UNICEF has appealed for US$25.8 million to prepare and respond to emergencies across the Caribbean, including in Eastern Caribbean countries, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Suriname and Jamaica. So far only US$8.5M has been received, leaving a funding gap of 64 per cent.

In addition to this, for Haiti, the most vulnerable country in the region, UNICEF has called for $48.9M. So far less than 40 per cent of the required funding has been received.

Exit mobile version