CWS emergency appeal: Cuba/Hurricane Dennis response

Originally published
Appeal #6752
Appeal goal: $80,000


From July 8 - 9, 2005, Hurricane Dennis, a category-4 storm, with 135 mph winds and gusts up to155 mph, wreaked havoc on Cuba, leaving 16 persons dead and some 50,000 persons homeless. It hit the island in Granma Province (capital city is Bayamo), crossed the South Sea, re-entered Cuban territory again thru Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Espritu, and Las Tunas provinces, before it exited the island's Havana Province July 9 as a Category 2 hurricane.

Devastation is estimated at $1.4 billion (U.S.). A total of 120,000 homes were severely damaged --15,000 totally collapsed and 25,000 partially collapsed. Roof damage is in the tens of thousands.

Agricultural impact includes damages to some 25,000 acres of mango trees; citrus fruits, banana, papaya, and vegetables crops; destruction of some 50 irrigation machines; and significant loss of livestock, including an estimated 73,000 chickens.


Through July 2006, CWS will support the work of the Cuban Council of Churches (CIC), a long-time partner and Action By Churches Together (ACT) member. The group is coordinating direct assistance to 1,000 families (approx. 5,000 persons) through its area churches and local partners. Components of project implementation include food relief, housing construction and repair, household items, psychosocial programs, livelihoods assistance, and other capacity building initiatives in two districts of Granma Province -- Niquero and Pilon.

Based on assessments conducted in the region, which involved CWS International Response and Recovery Liaison Donald Tatlock, CIC is focusing its response in Niquero and Pilon due to extent of destruction, and the rural and isolated nature of these mountainous districts. CIC is prioritising emergency assistance to displaced families with young children, pregnant women, and the elderly -- many traumatized by the extent of damage.

CIC activities include:

Emergency Food Distribution for one month (budget $62,268):

(All food items will be purchased locally)

- 15,189 lbs. of beans (15 lbs per family)

- 10,378 lbs. of meat (chicken, beef, tuna) (10 lbs. per family)

- 15,189 lbs. of vegetables

- 10,378 lbs. of powdered milk

Non-Food Items:

CWS is shipping 7,335 "Gift of the Heart" Health Kits, 1,050 "Gift of the Heart" Baby Kits, and 6,250 lightweight CWS blankets, valued at $149,708 for distribution by CIC to hurricane-affected families.

Additional non-food items (budget: $222,371, includes purchase, transportation, and storage) and includes:

- Personal hygiene kits (5,189)

- Sewing kits (5,189)

- Sheet sets (bottom and top sheet) (5,189)

- Mattresses (2,000)

Housing and Reconstruction (budget: $500,000 or $5,000 per home):

- In conjunction with local governments, CIC will coordinate and facilitate the reconstruction of 100 homes

Psychosocial Support ($12,800):

- Includes training, workshops, pastoral accompaniment, recreation, art, and other expressive activities

CWS is also issuing this emergency appeal -- Cuba/Hurricane Dennis Response (Acct. #6752) in the amount of $80,000 as part of the total initial requested assistance package from ACT (ref. LACU-51) for $879,303 (combined material resource value and cash donations). CWS encourages strong support for this appeal.

For more specific information, including detailed budget descriptions, contact CWS ERP or go to the ACT web site: (ref. LACU-51).

Contributions to support this work may be sent to your denomination or to:

Church World Service
Cuba/Hurricane Dennis Response (#6752)
P.O. Box 968
Elkhart, IN, 46515

Contributions may also be made by credit card by calling: (800) 297-1516, ext. 222, or online at

For further information about disasters to which Church World Service is responding please visit or call the CWS Hotline, (800) 297-1516.