Appeal target (current): CHF 6,412,000 (USD 5,929,461 or EUR 4,222,032);
Final Appeal coverage: 96%;
=B7 CHF 150,000 was initially allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Cuban Red Cross (CRC) in starting early damage and needs assessments following Hurricane Gustav.
=B7 An Emergency Appeal was launched on a preliminary basis on 8 September 2008 for CHF 6,417,524 (USD 5,834,112 or EUR 3,973,699) to assist 40,000 people for a period of nine months.
=B7 Given the levels of affectation and the impact of subsequent hurricanes, the Emergency Appeal was increased on 25 September 2008 to CHF 10,106,348 (USD 9,187,600 or EUR 6,257,800) to assist 60,000 beneficiaries for nine months.
=B7 The Appeal budget was revised on 30 October 2008 to CHF 9,604,366 (USD 8,811,345 or EUR 6,156,645) with a reduction in the quantity of relief items and the same number of beneficiaries.
=B7 With Appeal coverage standing at 64 per cent, the operational activities were revised at the time of the publication of Operations Update no. 4, including a reduced budget of CHF 6,412,000 (USD 5,929,461 or EUR 4,222,032) to assist 35,000 people (7,000 families) over a period of twelve months.
Overall, the Cuban Red Cross and the International Federation were able to respond well to the high level of need that arose from the 2008 Hurricane Season. Of particular note was the crucial role undertaken by the Cuban authorities and the Cuban Red Cross in emergency preparedness and response prior to the impact of the hurricanes. Widespread early warning and the evacuation of nearly three million people ensured that no lives were lost, despite the high impact of the storms.
Although the original appeal target was underfunded, in large part due to the number of other emergency response operations in the region, the relief efforts undertaken to support the CRC were significant. Subsequent appeal budgets were drawn up in-line with the funds available. Additional support, such as inkind contributions from the Finnish Red Cross and the Spanish Red Cross, along with careful beneficiary selection and distribution processes, ensured that assistance reached those who needed it most and allowed the relief operation to reach a greater number of beneficiaries. In addition, the operation was able to incur savings in the purchase of zinc sheets, which allowed additional sheets to be purchased so that more families could benefit from new roofs. As a result, 25,161 families received emergency non-food items, while 10,186 families received much needed shelter assistance. Furthermore, important groundwork has been laid in supporting the efficacy of farming and fishing cooperatives, which is assisting in the longterm recovery from the devastating effects of the hurricanes and ensuring that local residents will be less vulnerable to future disasters. The distribution of informative materials on disaster preparedness to families during relief and recovery activities has additionally sought to ensure that local populations are strengthened in the face of future emergency situations.
Finally, the capacity of the Cuban Red Cross was enhanced through this relief operation, as the National Society improved its coordination with the government, and additional volunteers were recruited. Through increased experience in disaster response, as well as through the purchase of much needed items for the CRC, such as visibility items and vehicles, the National Society is better prepared to respond to future emergencies.
The final financial report reflects a balance of 171,696 Swiss francs. The remaining funds for this operation will be allocated to the Annual Plan for the Latin Caribbean region to support actions in the Cuban Red Cross.