EU, Cuba Together on Recovery Actions after Irma

Virginie André in Yaguajay, Sancti Spiritus
Virginia André visited Yaguajay, one of the Cuban municipalities lashed by Hurricane Irma last September. (Photo: Luis Francisco Jacomino/ Escambray).

EU Humanitarian Aid Coordinator for the Caribbean, Virginie André, considers that despite the damage caused by the meteorological phenomenon, a rapid response has been evident six months laterCuba and the European Union are working to ensure the recovery capacity of the affected populations and compensate for the damages caused by Hurricane Irma on the island, Virginie André, an official of that agency, said.

The EU Humanitarian Aid Coordinator for the Caribbean told Prensa Latina that despite the damage caused by the meteorological phenomenon, a rapid response has been evident six months later.

We are contributing about five million Euros to support the national efforts with a view to overcoming the meteorological event and we are pleased because we have been capable of verifying the progress of those actions, André stated.

She also highlighted how the efforts are also focused on the training of residents for greater resilience to disasters and the social development of the areas affected by the phenomenon that hit the Cuban northern coast with maximum category in September 2017.

We are always happy to come to Cuba and see the response capacity of the people thanks to our joint work. We are very pleased on how we work in collaboration with the European Union, she noted.

After concluding yesterday a visit to Yaguajay, one of the most affected regions by Irma, Andre described as positive the progress reached in sectors such as health, local production of construction materials and the reception and distribution of food.

International agencies such as the UN Development Program (UNDP), the World Food Program (WFP) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have been implementing different recovery projects in Yaguajay municipality, about 320 kilometers east of Havana.

Some few months after the passing of this powerful hurricane, the changes that are achieved in the local development and the recovery of the affected areas are important, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Cuba, Soledad Bauza, said.

Some of those strategies implemented here by UNDP, WFP and PAHO are the donation of food (rice, beans and oil) as well as medical equipment for health institutions and first aid.

According to figures offered by the Municipal People’s Power Assembly in Yaguajay, the meteor damaged more than 10,000 homes, 43 percent of which have already been repaid.

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