HAVANA, Jan. 18 (EFE) On Monday, a ship of the Dominican Navy arrived with a cargo of more than 86 tons of humanitarian aid for the victims of the devastating Hurricane Irma in Cuba.
The commander of the Dominican ship, the captain of frigate Macdonald Belliard, detailed that the donation for Cubans includes construction materials such as wood, aluminum carpentry, nails, roofing of metal, wire and portable power plants.
“We came to the call of the authorities to bring this aid, and we are proud to assist this brother people, it is a pleasure to be here in peace and as a sign of solidarity,” said the Dominican captain, quoted by the state- News (ACN).
Joaquin Berroa, the ambassador of the Dominican Republic in Havana, highlighted the “solid union” of the two countries reaffirmed with this “simple gesture of solidarity”, which he considered “little” in the face of the great demand for resources to face the damages of Irma in the Caribbean island.
On receiving the donation, the Cuban Vice President, Mercedes López Acea, said that it is an expression of “unity” because “we are brothers in difficulties and with a relationship that is strengthened by adversity.”
Dominican Republic’s humanitarian aid is the third to reach Cuba, following cargoes sent by the governments of Venezuela and Suriname, of 5 and 8 tons, respectively, following the passage of Hurricane Irma last week.
China also announced this weekend that it will donate to Cuba one million dollars in cash and shipping of basic necessities such as ceilings, mattresses, blankets, water pumps and lights, as well as a rice ship that will reach the western port of Mariel in mid-October.
Colombia has also come to the aid of Cuban victims with the shipment of three planes, the first of which arrived Sunday in Havana with a load of hygiene material and sheets, and a cash donation is also planned, said the ambassador of that country on the island, Araceli Morales.
The Government of Japan has announced that it will allocate emergency aid to Cuba to contribute to the recovery of the Cuban families affected by the passage of the dangerous meteor that left in the Island ten dead, as well as damages and losses not yet quantified.
Japanese aid includes water purifiers and portable fuel depots, among other items that will reach the island through the Asian country’s international cooperation agency.
The World Food Program (WFP) has provided some 1,606 tons of food to deliver to more than 600,000 Cubans for about four months, in addition to approving $ 5.6 million for the purchase of additional materials for recovery.
The executive director of that United Nations system agency, David Beasley, was in Cuba last week to “observe, work and see” how WFP can help start its relief operation with the free distribution of rice and beans in areas of higher priority.
Representations of UN agencies such as UNDP, FAO, and Unicef have coordinated their strategy to assist the most affected areas in Cuba by Hurricane Irma, which left its mark on the north coast of the island from east to west.