Response to Hurricane Irma: Cuba Situation Report No. 12 - Office of the Resident Coordinator (19/09/2017)

Report
from UN Country Team in Cuba
Published on 19 Sep 2017

Hundreds of thousands of people remain affected after more than 72 hours of Hurricane Irma battering Cuba, which inflicted serious damage to the housing, energy, communications, agriculture, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and education sectors throughout the country.

  • Cuba has postponed, for a month, primary elections in the country due to the emergency situation.

  • Today, in Havana, the United Nations System in Cuba (UNS) presented a US $55.8 million Action Plan to address the urgent needs of 2.15 million people.

  • The United Nations System Action Plan contributes to the response and recovery in the Housing and Early Rehabilitation, Food Security, Water, Health, Education and Coordination Sectors.

Situation overview

From Havana to the eastern provinces of the country, severe damage remains, mainly to the housing, agricultural, energy, telecommunications, education and transportation infrastructure sectors.
Several communities, mainly in the Western and Central Regions of the country, remain without electricity, which prevents the re-establishment of other basic services such as water supply, food production, and economic activities which are the main sources of income for the population.
Immediate sanitation and hygiene needs in rural cities and communities remain due to the accumulation of debris caused by the hurricane.

Humanitarian Response

National Authorities

The State Council postponed the first round of elections for Municipal Assemblies of the People's Power, until November 26, 2017, due to the serious damage caused by Hurricane Irma throughout much of the country.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, participated in the high-level forum of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York where he expressed gratitude for the offers of aid received from governments, parliaments, international organizations, and civil society. National and provincial construction, energy and mining, and tourism authorities are visiting localities and economic centers impacted by Hurricane Irma in northern Matanzas Province.

In the Sancti Spíritus Province, the Head of the Defense Council of the Central Strategic Region decided to accelerate the allocation of resources to provide building materials to affected populations.

International Cooperation

The Governments of Japan, Bolivia and Colombia sent three aid supply flights with necessities and supplies for affected populations.

Surinam, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, China, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, the Czech Republic, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam have all expressed their solidarity and willingness to provide assistance to the island.