HAVANA, Oct. 22 The European Union Commission for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid has allocated an amount of 700,000 euros to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Cuba to assist families affected by Hurricane Irma on the island.
About 8,000 Cubans affected in the municipality of Yaguajay, Sancti Spíritus province, will receive help to recover from the devastating storm by restoring their homes and living conditions, UNDP said in a statement on Wednesday.
EU funds will also help strengthen local capacities to withstand recurrent weather-related disasters in the Caribbean region by promoting hurricane-resistant repairs, which will be supplied from locally produced materials, the statement said.
The budget will be dedicated, the statement explains, to the training and equipment of specialized brigades for laying roofs, with the support of technical roofing manuals built on previous experiences with Hurricanes Sandy (in October 2012) and Matthew (in October 2016).
“The European Union supports Cuba in this hour of need, when women, men and children need urgent assistance,” said Androulla Kaminara, director of operations for the commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. “We are pleased that this helps to increase the skills of the people affected so that they themselves can rebuild better,” he added.
The initiative responds to a UN Action Plan developed jointly with the Cuban authorities, within which UNDP directs the Housing and Early Recovery Sector.
“This initiative is part of the cooperation framework of UNDP and Cuba, following the country’s priorities and the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Soledad Bauza, UNDP representative in Cuba.
The agenda of this program until 2030 emphasizes the prevention and mitigation of risks as essential elements of sustainable development. “For this reason, the project will also pay special attention to groups of families and people in conditions of greater vulnerability,” he said.
According to the letter, this new contribution adds to about $ 2.5 million from the UN Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the $ 500,000 provided by UNDP from its own resources.
The aforementioned funds will be used to purchase tarpaulins, mattresses, roof modules and equipment for the local production of construction materials, to help the victims of north-central Cuba, from Villa Clara to Camagüey, he concluded.