Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock: Statement on Hurricane Irma, 7 September 2017

I share the Secretary-General’s sadness at the loss of life and immense destruction in the Caribbean region, as Hurricane Irma continues on its devastating path.

As Emergency Relief Coordinator, I commend the respective Governments of the region for their leadership in preparedness and response for the millions of people that are and will be affected by the category 5 storm.

In the days preceding the storm’s landfall yesterday, humanitarian agencies began to pre-position supplies and technical experts to support national and regional relief efforts.

These proactive measures have included the deployment of UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination teams of first responders to augment capacity in the region where required, and the surge of OCHA staff to Haiti.

With sustained wind speeds approaching 300 kilometres per hour, Hurricane Irma is an unprecedented threat to the Caribbean that demands an immediate and robust response. We will continue to stand in solidarity with the people of the Caribbean and to ensure maximum support is available to the commendable national and regional efforts.

New York, 7 September 2017

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.