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Caribbean: Hurricane Ivan Appeal No. 21/04 Final Report


The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.

In Brief

Appeal No. 21/2004; Final Report; Period covered: 10 September 2004 to 10 March 2005; Final appeal coverage: 119.5%.

Appeal history:

- Launched on 10 September 2004 CHF 1,752,697 (USD 1,389,560 or EUR 1,137,899) for 6 months to assist 10,000 beneficiaries (2,000 families).

- Revised on 15 September 2004 for CHF 6,033,000 (USD 4,764,410 or EUR 3,910,502) for 6 months to assist 85,000 beneficiaries (17,000 families) in Grenada, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cuba.

- Plan of action and budget revised on 6 January 2005 for CHF 7,372,118 (USD or EUR) for 6 months to assist 109,000 beneficiaries (24,500 families) in Grenada, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cuba.

Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 300,000

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: Caribbean Annual Appeal (Appeal 01.52/2004); Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) Annual Appeal (Appeal 01.51/2004); Bahamas: Floods (Appeal 23/2004); Haiti: Floods (Appeal 22/2004)

Background and Summary

Hurricane Ivan, the most powerful hurricane to hit the Caribbean in ten years, moved through the region for more than a week, damaging homes, buildings and infrastructure, and causing at least 80 deaths. Although Grenada, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cuba were the worst hit by the storm, there were also significant damages in Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Mexico. The hurricane killed one person in Tobago, one in Barbados, one in Venezuela, and four in the Dominican Republic. The United States was also badly hit by the hurricane; at least 20 people were killed in the south-eastern region of the country.

In Grenada, at least 39 people died and approximately 90 per cent of the country's homes sustained damage. Water, electricity and telephone services were all cut off. Approximately 60,000 people were in need of assistance and approximately 5 thousand people were accommodated in 145 official and ad hoc shelters. Although the storm did not make direct landfall in Jamaica, at least 15 people were killed and there was extensive damage to roofs and roads. There were also reports of numerous landslides across the country. Officials had urged 500,000 people to evacuate high-risk areas, but many residents chose to stay because of fears of looting. The hurricane caused one death in the Cayman Islands. One of the designated shelters collapsed at the height of the hurricane and the shelter occupants were evacuated. Some 90 per cent of the West Bay area of Grand Cayman suffered damage and the sewage system collapsed. The storm passed the western tip of Cuba, bringing heavy rain and storm surges. Thousands of families lost their homes and belongings and were forced into shelters.

The Federation's Panama Regional Delegation, the Port of Spain Sub Regional Office and the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) were closely tracking the progress of the storm in the days leading up to this event, and were prepared to respond immediately. Shortly after the hurricane struck Grenada, a disaster management delegate from PADRU and the disaster management officer from the Port of Spain Sub Regional Office were deployed to the country. In the following days, further personnel were also deployed to the country: a British Red Cross Logistics Emergency Response Unit (ERU), a Field Assessment and Coordination (FACT) team, the Panama Regional Delegation's IT coordinator, a member of the Regional Intervention Team (RIT) specialized in water and sanitation, and members of the Regional Finance Unit. Additional RITs members were also deployed to Grenada in the weeks following the hurricane. A disaster management expert from the Secretariat and a reporting and information delegate were pre-deployed to Jamaica prior to the hurricane and were on-hand to assist the National Society in the preparations and the immediate aftermath. A FACT team was also deployed to Jamaica, along with two Federation logistics delegates. A further disaster management delegate from PADRU and the regional information delegate from the Lima Regional Delegation, together with a Federation logistician and telecommunications expert from Ericsson Response were deployed to Cuba. In addition, the regional health delegate was deployed to the Cayman Islands.

The Federation launched a preliminary appeal on 10 September, which was revised on 15 September to address the needs of 17,000 families in Grenada, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cuba. The plan of action and budget were further revised on 6 January 2005. The operation was successfully implemented within the six month timeframe in Grenada, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Given the pace of implementation, the operation has been extended for a four month period in Cuba and on-going relief activities are expected to be completed by 10 July 2005.

The overall relief effort was a large, complex operation covering four countries and a huge geographical area with varied populations, cultures and languages. In total, some 109,000 beneficiaries (24,500 families) benefited from distributions of food and non-food relief items and activities in the areas of shelter, water and sanitation, family linking, psychosocial support and capacity building. These activities have helped vulnerable families recover from the effects of the hurricane and have strengthened the National Societies, ensuring that they will be better prepared for future disasters.



In the early stages of the response, the Federation worked closely with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) which forms part of the Eastern Caribbean Donor Group for Disaster Management. The core donor group included the following organizations: the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), USAID/OFDA, the Department for International Development (DfID), the European Union (EU), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank (WB) and OXFAM. Support agencies included the Inter American Development Bank (IADB), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Global Climate Change (CPACC).

In Grenada, the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team arrived within a week of Ivan and held a coordination role; the subsequent handover to the United Nations Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC) then facilitated thrice weekly meetings attended with other implementing partners. Coordination in Grenada with the National Emergency Response Organization (NERO) began two weeks after the impact and served as a verbal forum for information sharing regarding distributions.

In country partner coordination took place primarily with OXFAM, particularly focusing on water and sanitation; OXFAM took primary responsibility for the water and sanitation component of relief efforts with the Federation carrying out complementary activities, as appropriate. Federation representatives actively participated in weekly interagency coordination meetings and, although government coordination capacity was limited, took part in scheduled government agency meetings. Representatives also distributed monthly operational reports and programme information to communicate efforts and share information with other national and international agencies operating in the country.

The Federation and the Grenada Red Cross Society (GRCS) worked closely with the French Red Cross and the British Red Cross which are implementing roof repair and retrofitting programmes. These programmes train building instructors in hurricane resistant construction techniques and survey and assessment criteria. These builders then train community members in the techniques and provide materials for housing repair. The programmes are targeting approximately 300 houses for rebuild ing and repair, and are also training community members in improved repair skills. The vast majority of staffing for these programmes comes from GRCS volunteers who participated in the relief effort and gained valuable skills.

Under an initiative funded by the British Red Cross, a livelihoods project was developed in Grenada which distributed agricultural inputs to 450 small-scale farmers in order to re-establish household food security and stabilize prices in the local food economy. Agricultural inputs were distributed from central warehouses through December, in time for planting during the rainy season. A field evaluation of 10 percent of beneficiaries showed that most of the beneficiaries worked on between .25 and 1 acre of land, with agriculture the primary source of livelihood for 70 percent of respondents. Most were also engaged in part time work when available, although many continued to live below the poverty line (CHF 440 per month). Within a month of receiving the seeds, the majority of farmers were able to plant and felt that the quality and quantity of inputs were appropriate. While 90 percent of respondents stated that vegetable prices had increased since Ivan, over 80 percent anticipated selling the majority of their harvest on the market and were expecting to earn approximately CHF 175 per month. The respondents were overwhelmingly satisfied with the Red Cross staff interactions, information and services received.


Throughout the emergency phase of the operation the Jamaica Red Cross (JRC) and the Federation team was in close contact with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management. The JRC has representation in both the ODPEM and the Jamaican Customs Agency. Planned activities, distribution plans, transport mechanisms and relief supply lists were shared on regular basis. The Christian Public Service provided volunteers who have assisted with roof rehabilitation and the construction of houses.

Cayman Islands

The Federation's regional health delegate and the British Red Cross health delegate working in the country worked closely with the staff of the Cayman Islands Overseas Branch of the British Red Cross to put together a tentative three-month plan of action. The Red Cross team in the Cayman Islands worked closely with PADRU throughout the relief operation, in particular with PADRU's Regional Logistics Unit, which assisted in procuring goods and shipping them to the country. The Cayman Islands Overseas Branch of the British Red Cross also worked closely with representatives of the Department of Child and Family Services and the Public Works Department. In addition, the Cayman Islands Overseas Branch, supported by the British Red Cross and the Federation, coordinated with the representative of the Pan American Health Organization on the islands. However, with this exception, there is no presence of international organizations or NGOs.


The Cuban Red Cross continues to work in coordination with governmental authorities as regards damage and needs assessments, surveys of beneficiaries, distribution of relief items, and in the work being carried out in shelters housing those whose homes have been damaged.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Grenada: Mr Terry Charles, Director General, Grenada Red Cross Society; email

In Jamaica: Ms. Yvonne Clarke, Director General, email;; phone (1 876) 984 7860; fax; (1 876) 984 8272

In the Cayman Islands: Mrs. Jondo Malafa Obi, Director, Cayman Islands Red Cross: phone (1 345) 917 2345

In Cuba: Cuban Red Cross, Dr. Luis Foyo Ceballos, Executive President; email, phone (1 537) 269 0100

In Panama: Nelson Castaño, Pan American Disaster Response Unit e -mail In Panama: Nelson Castaño; email, phone (507) 316-1001, fax (507) 316-1082

In Geneva: Luis Luna, Americas Department, e-mail, phone (41 22) 730 4274; fax (41 22) 733 0395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at

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