Situation in numbers
+357,000 estimated # of children in need of immediate assistance in Cuba, ECA, Haiti and Dominican Republic.
+39,000 children in need of immediate assistance in ECA, with 20,000 children affected by Hurricane Maria in Dominica.
56% children remain out of school in Dominica.
The situation in the countries and territories affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria is gradually improving. In the Eastern Caribbean Islands, access to basic services, including water, electricity and communications is restored for the majority of the population.
Challenges remain in the Education sector. In Dominica, over 50 per cent of children - particularly those living in shelters - are yet to be enrolled in education activities. In Antigua & Barbuda, special support is required to ensure that displaced children are effectively integrated into the school system.
The Caribbean Hurricanes emergency has shown concerning gaps in the national social protection systems of the affected countries. UNICEF and partners are already working with governments to support key interventions built on lessons learnt thus far.
In Haiti, UNICEF and partners are scaling up efforts to prevent the spread of cholera and waterborne diseases, in areas particularly vulnerable as a consequence of the hurricane and subsequent flooding.
Since the onset of the emergency caused by two devastating hurricanes that hit the Caribbean islands in September 2017, UNICEF, through its presence in the affected countries and territories, remains a key actor supporting the humanitarian response efforts. Working in collaboration with partners, UNICEF is providing technical assistance and supporting communication and advocacy efforts, serving not only the immediate humanitarian relief to affected populations but also ensuring longer term recovery and resilience support.
The situation in the affected locations is gradually improving, particularly in regards to access to basic services, including water, electricity and communications. Challenges remain in certain locations in Dominica where some children, particularly those living in shelters, are not yet enrolled in education activities. In Antigua & Barbuda, authorities are yet to establish a return plan for children and families displaced as a consequence of the emergency, and special support is also needed to ensure that displaced children are effectively integrated in the school system.
The emergency has revealed weaknesses in the national social protection systems of the affected countries and territories; UNICEF and partners are working with governments to plan for key interventions, including the cash transfer programme, soon to be launched in Dominica.
In Dominica, the most affected country, preliminary results of the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) were published by the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica; UNICEF WASH and Education teams contributed to the sectoral assessment exercise. Based upon the assessment of impacts to each affected sector, the PDNA concluded that Hurricane Maria resulted in total damages of US$931 million and losses of US$382 million, which amounts to 226 percent of 2016 gross domestic product.