The Caribbean: Hurricanes Irma and Jose Response Situation Report #2, 20 September 2017
As part of the UN-coordinated Regional Response Plan for the Caribbean Region after Hurricanes Irma and José, IOM is appealing for a total of USD 4.95 million to provide humanitarian relief, manage human mobility and facilitate a fast resilience-focused recovery in the form of technical expertise and knowledge transfer to government authorities. Humanitarian needs are expected to increase in the region, given Hurricane Maria’s latest impact.
Dominica, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, and the United States Virgin Islands are anticipated to be the locations most affected by Hurricane Maria.
Prior to the arrival of Hurricane Maria, IOM surge team supported the government of Sint Maarten to prepare evacuation centres by assisting coordination-related activities including: dissemination of early warning messages to the public and prepositioning basic relief items, such as food and water, in all evacuation centres across Sint Maarten. Additionally, IOM trained over 50 Red Cross and K1 Britannia Foundation volunteers on basic evacuation centre management.
Hurricane Maria (Category 5) has passed through the already storm-battered Leeward Islands, and moves towards Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. An estimated 16.4 million people will be exposed to the hurricane, including populations previously affected by Hurricanes Irma and José. Remnants from destroyed homes in Esmeralda, Cuba.
From 15 to 18 September, IOM surge team conducted the first site assessment on the needs of populations displaced from Barbuda to Antigua. Initial findings suggest that basic needs have been met but there are still gaps in the provision of health services, education, psychosocial support and information on returns.
As of 20 September, IOM surge team members are present in the regional coordination hub in Panama and the two most affected Leeward Islands - Antigua and Sint Maarten. While conducting assessments on the needs of affected populations, the surge team also supports local authorities and humanitarian actors to adequately implement preparedness and response activities through technical expertise and training. As soon as humanitarian access is secured, the surge team will continue to assess the impact of Hurricane Maria in close coordination with the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC)/ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
IOM continues to collate and maintain updated information on displacement and human mobility figures in close coordination with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). Movements are exacerbated by the arrival of Hurricane Maria. Figures tracked under the displacement portfolio include persons evacuated, internally displaced, residing in collective settings, sheltered in host families, and stranded migrants.
The latest available predictions of path and intensity ad well as estimated displacement and exposure figures are available at IOM's geoportal: http://displacement.iom.int/caribbean-emergency-2017.