With five weeks still left in the hurricane
season, large sections of Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the
Gulf Coast of the United States are reeling from the continued assault
of multiple hurricanes and severe weather.
Oxfam America is working with local partner organizations to provide relief in some of the affected regions while continuing to monitor the situation in other areas and assess needs on the ground. As the record-breaking 22nd tropical storm Alpha now heads northwards, Hurricanes Wilma, Stan, Rita, and Katrina have already caused thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in damage to homes, businesses, cropland, and fishing grounds.
After stalling over the Yucatan Peninsula and causing widespread destruction, Wilma today whipped across the southern tip of Florida and headed back into the Caribbean. Oxfam America is assessing the storm's impact in several countries as it prepares to mount yet another relief effort in the region.
In Florida, where more than two million people lost power, Oxfam is evaluating Wilma's damage with the help of two local partners-the Farmworkers Association of Florida and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. President Bush declared 20 Florida counties to be disaster areas. Wilma is the eighth hurricane to pound the state in the last 15 months.
From rain-drenched El Salvador to the flooded Gulf Coast, residents in storm-battered communities have multiple needs, including shelter, food, and medical care. Through its Global Emergencies Fund, Oxfam America is accepting donations to help in relief and recovery efforts across the affected region.