Cuba: Hurricane Irma - Emergency Appeal Operations Update no.3 (MDRCU004)

Situation Report
Originally published


This Operation Update Report No. 3 reflects the current situation in Cuba and the progress achieved in planned activities. The activities under Water and Sanitation will no longer be conducted as other actors in the country such as UNICEF and other UN agencies in coordination with the local authorities are covering these needs. The Emergency Appeal is currently being revised and these changes will be reflected. The revised Emergency Appeal will be focused in carrying out roof repairs in coordination with the local authorities.

A. Situation Analysis

A.1 Description of the Disaster

Hurricane Irma impacted Cuba from the morning of 8 September to the afternoon of Sunday 10 September with strong winds, rains and coastal flooding affecting 14 provinces in Cuba. The strong impact of Hurricane Irma caused severe damage to people's livelihoods, basic services, and infrastructure in rural and coastal communities in the Central and Western Regions of the country. Sectors such as housing, electric power generation, agriculture, communications, public health, education, culture, and sports suffered significant damage and recovery efforts are complex and costly. Local governments are increasing measures to ensure food and water supplies as well as to protect essential goods for affected populations.

Of the 1,863,589 people who were protected in the wake of Hurricane Irma, 11,689 continue to receive state support with food and other essential items, in Ciego de Avila, Camagüey, Villa Clara, Holguin, Sancti Spíritus, Havana, Las Tunas, Matanzas and Guantánamo.

On 12 October 2017, the Cuban government reported more than 18,000 affected people in northern Cuba had been assisted with essential relief items and has established selling points of home and construction materials at reduced prices.

To date, various governments and institutions have provided various types of support intended to help with the material losses suffered by people affected by Hurricane Irma. In turn, the Cuban Government has assumed the responsibility for most input deliveries and protecting the population.

A.2 Summary of current response

Overview of Host National Society

4,225 volunteers are activated, of which 2,533 are from the operations and relief groups carrying out recovery work in the affected regions in sanitation and epidemic control including 531 volunteers working in the protection centres. The Restoring Family Link (RFL) office is working with 168 volunteers at the municipal level, in the 15 provinces and the central headquarters) with 1,161 volunteers

Overview of the Red Cross - Red Crescent Movement in the country

The IFRC continues providing support and coordination with the Cuban Red Cross (CRC) through its Country Cluster Support Team based in Dominican Republic, and through the Regional Office for the Americas (ARO) based in Panama. The Country Cluster Support Team and the regional disaster management coordinator (also emergency shelter focal point) are giving the support to all the response actions of this operation. The sectors and needs addressed by this Emergency Appeal were identified by the CRC in coordination with the government.

The Spanish Red Cross, who has had presence in the country, deployed one staff member to support the National Society’s response efforts. In addition, on the onset of the emergency and on 9 October, two staff members from the Canadian Red Cross Society were deployed to Cuba with the aim to contribute to the response requirements of the Cuban Red Cross.

The Cuban Red Cross coordinated bilaterally with the Spanish Red Cross, through its permanent cooperation program, a shipment of new clothes and footwear for adults, and psycho-pedagogical centres including children without subsidiary protection.

Movement Coordination

The Regional Office for the Americas (ARO) has been sharing official information from the CRC with all Movement members. The CRC led coordination meetings at country level with the Spanish Red Cross and the Canadian Red Cross Society.

At the onset of Hurricane Irma, communication was established with Movement partners to inform of the storm’s path through the Caribbean. Similarly, the necessary information mechanisms were established through the Partnerships and Resource Development (PRD) department.