ACT Appeal Cuba: Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike emergency assistance - LACU81


Appeal Target: US$ 1,011,750

Amount requested: US$ 614,750

Geneva, 21 November 2008

Dear ACT members,

Cuba was hit by two violent hurricanes within a period of three weeks. Hurricane Gustav, considered one of the most violent hurricanes in the past 50 years, hit in late August the coasts of Pinar del Rio, the municipality of Isla de la Juventud, and the province of Havana. On 7 September, Hurricane Ike approached the eastern end of the Cuban island as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 215 km/h.

The damage is considerable, although the casualties were relatively few due to the Cuban civil defences that had prepared the country for the disaster according to pre-established contingency plans. However, in spite of disaster preparedness, the physical damage caused by strong waves and storm surge is extensive. Twelve out of the 14 provinces of the country have been affected, as well as the Isla de la Juventud, representing a total of nine million inhabitants. According to UNDP sources, the losses are calculated at 5 billion US dollars. One of the worst impacts of Gustav and Ike was on homes: more than 444,000 houses were damaged, and more than 63,000 houses were completely destroyed. Beside material damage, the hurricanes have had a traumatic effect on the population of the country.

In the first days after the second hurricane struck, ACT member Cuban Council of Churches (CIC) had already collected and delivered first aid items donated by the local congregations in Pinar del Río, Holguin, Las Tunas, and Isla de la Juventud to the benefit of 500 families.

On 23 September 2008, a preliminary appeal was issued, planning a larger response to assist 5,000 families with the supply of food relief and hygiene kits, 2,000 families with psycho-social care, and 1,000 families with supply of agricultural tools, seeds and fertilizers. CIC has fielded emergency teams to the affected areas in order to assess both the physical damage and the vulnerability of the population. The present full appeal gives more detail on the various components as well as on the budget, which was slightly revised. In addition, it also presents a component to assist 1,000 families with the rehabilitation of roofs for houses.

Through the coordination with the Government, with ACT members, and other partners CIC was already able to mobilise funds. Members of the ACT forums in Central America offered their practical support to the CIC and sent, on 15 September, a rapid support team to Cuba to assist the emergency team of the CIC with assessing the damage and needs and with drafting the proposal of the ACT response. This rapid support team is being financed through funds of the appeal. Additionally, members of the ACT forum in Honduras will assist the CIC in sending relief food items from Honduras.

On 8 November, Hurricane Paloma made landfall in Cuba, near Santa Cruz del Sur, as a Category 4 storm. Initial information indicate severe damage to public services, roads, electricity poles, agricultural infrastructure, houses and property. The most affected zones are the municipalities of Santa Cruz del Sur and Najasa in the south of Camag=FCey province, and Amancio y Manatí in the Las Tunas province, the same areas already affected by Hurricane Ike. Should assessments indicate that further needs need to be met in the area, the present appeal will be revised to include a response to the damage caused by Hurricane Paloma.

Project Completion Date: 31 August 2009

Reporting schedule:

Interim narrative & financial: 15 April 2009
Final narrative & financial: 31 October 2009
Audit: 30 November 2009

Summary of Appeal Targets, Pledges/Contributions Received and Balance Requested:

Appeal Target US$ 1,011,750
Less: Pledges/Contr Recd 397,000
Balance Requested from ACT Alliance 614,750

Please kindly send your contributions to either of the following ACT bank accounts:

US dollar

Account Number - 240-432629.60A
IBAN No: CH46 0024 0240 4326 2960A


Euro Bank Account Number - 240-432629.50Z
IBAN No: CH84 0024 0240 4326 2950Z

Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together

8, rue du Rhône
P.O. Box 2600
1211 Geneva 4, SWITZERLAND
Swift address: UBSWCHZH80A

Please also inform the Finance Officer Jessie Kgoroeadira ( and the Programme Officer, Michael Zschiegner ( of all pledges/contributions and transfers, including funds sent direct to the implementers, now that the Pledge Form is no longer attached to the Appeal.

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit applications for EU, USAID and/or other back donor funding and the subsequent results. We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

For further information please contact:

ACT Director, John Nduna (phone +41 22 791 6033 or mobile phone + 41 79 203 6055) or
ACT Program Officer, Michael Zschiegner, (phone +41 22 791 6420 or mobile phone +41 79 608 8133)

John Nduna
Director, ACT Co-ordinating Office