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Haiti and Cuba: Emergency Response Update
Posted on: Tuesday, October 14, 2008
After a series of storms devastated Haiti and Cuba last month, MADRE members responded. MADRE was able to send emergency aid to our partner organizations in both countries.
Current SituationThe five back-to-back storms that hit Haiti in the span of a month devastated a country already suffering from extreme poverty. With over 800,000 people directly affected by the storms, flooding and mudslides have caused more destruction and led to an agricultural loss estimated at $180 million.
The MADRE Partner ResponseIn Haiti, our partner organization Zanmi Lasante has been working tirelessly to set up temporary clinics and provide medical services to the thousands of people displaced by the storms in the four regions where Zanmi Lasante has clinics: Petite Riviere de l'Artibonite, Saint-Marc, Hinche, and Mirebelais.
With the supplies Zanmi Lasante was able to secure, they have worked to provide families and individuals with clean drinking water and prevent the spread of communicable diseases.
As people move out of the shelters, Zanmi Lasante has begun creating and distributing “resettlement packages,” which include food supplies, cooking pots, stoves, water containers and purification systems, clothes, shoes, and school fees and supplies for children.
Current SituationHurricanes Gustav and Ike destroyed farmland and infrastructure on the western coast of Cuba and in total, caused an estimated $5 billion dollars in damages. Around 500,000 people are still living in shelters set up by the Cuban government. Food supplies have been severely diminished by the impact of the hurricanes, and the US embargo prevents Cubans from accessing basic medicines and medical supplies that people so desperately need.
The MADRE Partner Response
The Cuban Red Cross, MADRE's partner in Cuba, responded quickly, and as emergency shelters were set up, they immediately began working to provide medicines and medical supplies to those people who need them. Workers from the Cuban Red Cross have dedicated their time to preventing the spread of contagious diseases triggered by floods and close quarters such as malaria and dengue fever.