PWRDF responds to hurricane emergencies in Cuba and Haiti

In the year 2008, Cuba was hit by two powerful hurricanes. Hurricane Gustav, considered one of the most violent hurricanes in the past 50 years, hit Cuba in late August. On September 7, Hurricane Ike approached the eastern end of Cuba as a Category Four hurricane with sustained winds of 215 km/h.
Both these hurricanes have had a devastating impact: more than 444,000 houses were damaged and more than 63,000 houses were completely destroyed.
The Cuban Council of Churches (CIC), a member of Action by Churches Together (ACT) and a long-standing PWRDF partner, collected and delivered first aid items to 500 families as soon as the hurricanes hit. The local congregations donated those items. The CIC also presented a preliminary appeal of US$782,740 to ACT, of which PWRDF is also a member. As of Oct. 27, 43% of this appeal has been funded with PWRDF contributing an initial grant of $15,000.
Goals:
* to provide assistance to the most vulnerable victims of hurricanes Gustav and Ike, in the municipalities of Pinar del Rio, Holguin and Las Tunas; and
* to facilitate the recovery and return to normal life for these populations.
Activities:
* to provide food relief and hygiene kits to 5,000 families;
* to provide mattresses and sheets to 2,000 families;
* to promote the psychosocial recovery of approximately 2,000 traumatized families; and
* to assist farmers to grow crops and ensure adequate food supplies.
These activities are planned over a one-year time period and the appeal may be revised if necessary.
Haiti
In the last weeks of August and in the first week of September 2008, Haiti was hit by four tropical storms and hurricanes, namely Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike. The damage has been extensive, with all 10 departments of the country hit at least by one hurricane.

Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH) and Christian Aid are working together on a joint appeal to the ACT members worldwide with a target of $1,160,426.  As of Oct. 27, this is 34% funded. PWRDF has contributed $15,000 to the appeal.
Appeal Objectives 

  • to provide food, drinking water and basic needs; 
  •  to provide minimum income during the early recovery period; 
  • to rehabilitate access to food and water to provide school material to children ages 7 to 14 years
  • to assist farmers in reviving their production to build the capacity of the community and civil society organizations for appropriate disaster risk reduction measures;
  • and to provide secure housing and facilitate school enrollment.  

The town of Gonaives and populations in the rural and semi-rural departments of South East, West, Grand Anse and Artibonite.

View more stories on: Emergency Response Stories, Latin America Caribbean Stories, PWRDF News Release