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Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Kitts and Nevis: Hurricane Irma (MDR49009): Emergency Appeal Final Report

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Situation Report
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The Emergency Appeal was launched for a total amount of 3,372,790 Swiss francs (CHF). A total of 3,093,537 Swiss francs were received (92% coverage of the appeal) as cash and in-kind contributions from different donors. By the operation’s 31 March 2019 end date, the total expenditure was 2,863,092 Swiss francs, leaving a balance of 230,445 CHF. Expenditure details are outlined in the final financial report.

The IFRC, on behalf of the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross Society (ABRCS) and Saint Kitts and Nevis Red Cross Society (SKNRCS) would like to extend many thanks to all partners and donors for their generous contributions. The remaining funds will be transferred to the Operational Plan 2019 & 2020 for Antigua and Barbuda, under the responsibility of the IFRC Country Cluster Support Team (CCST) office for the Englishspeaking Caribbean and Suriname, Port of Spain. This balance will enable the continuation of support to the Antigua & Barbuda Red Cross to continue the construction of a branch office in Barbuda, which was severely affected by this hurricane. That branch office also serves as an emergency shelter as a continuation of IFRC support to the National Society in disaster risk reduction activities.

Description of the disaster

In early September 2017, Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean islands of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British and United States Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Martin/Sint Maarten. Irma, which was classified as a category 5 hurricane, was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic, with wind speeds of more than 185 miles per hour (298 km/hour) and torrential rainfall. Irma struck Barbuda in the early morning hours of 6 September 2017. The hurricane severely impacted the affected islands’ livelihoods, housing and infrastructure and basic services such as health, telecommunication, electricity, water, sewage and waste systems, agriculture and fisheries on the affected islands.

The impact on Barbuda was particularly severe as the eye of the hurricane passed directly over the island; 81% of Barbuda’s buildings were reported to have been destroyed or severely damaged, and the island was deemed uninhabitable, as all resident households (HHs) on Barbuda were seriously affected by the hurricane. The government of Antigua and Barbuda evacuated all Barbuda’s inhabitants to the neighbouring island of Antigua, where most were placed in government-run collective centres or hosted by relatives. In Saint Kitts and Nevis, it was initially feared that Irma had caused serious damage; however, subsequent assessments showed that the impact was minor, with only two homes severely damaged or destroyed.