Oxfam supporting hurricane relief efforts in Cuba
Hurricanes have devastated agriculture, housing and infrastructure
(Sept 12, 2008) The biggest impact of the recent hurricanes in Cuba is on farms, housing and other infrastructure according to international agency Oxfam. Hurricane Ike which hit the country on Sunday is the fourth tropical cyclone, after Fay, Gustav and Hannah, to hit Cuba in just three weeks. The impact of heavy rains, winds and waves has been felt across the island. Over 20 per cent of the population has had to be evacuated from their homes. Reports indicate that this is the worst disaster to hit Cuba since 1963.
Assessments of the damage have been hindered due to the ongoing difficult weather conditions and lack of electricity in the majority of the island. However, it is known that over 1.2 million people have been directly affected by the hurricanes; close to 30,000 homes have been destroyed.
Oxfam has begun to mobilize funds from the public and governments to support the distribution of non-food relief items to the most vulnerable. Oxfam partners are prioritizing the replacement of agricultural tools and the rebuilding of greenhouses and vegetable gardens so that food production can resume as soon as possible.
Oxfam is urgently calling on the public to generously donate towards the rehabilitation efforts in Cuba ,” said Beat Schmid, coordinator for Oxfam’s work in Cuba. “As the rains continue, we know people will need help as they begin re-establishing their lives.”