Cuba receives $ 7.2 million from WFP for food and assistance after Irma

Cuba receives $ 7.2 million from WFP for food and assistance after Irma

Cuban flags hang from balconies during post-Hurricane Irma cleanup in Havana, September 12, 2017. YAMIL LAGE AFP / Getty Images

HAVANA, Sept. 17 (EFE) The World Food Program (WFP) will donate to Cuba 1.5 million dollars in food and another 5.7 in food aid for those affected by the devastating hurricane Irma, announced today in Havana the executive director of that organization , David Beasley.

Beasley, an American and former governor of South Carolina, said that the aid would supplement the food needs of some 664,000 Cuban victims by four months.

“At times like this we all put aside our political differences and work together for the common good,” the WFP executive director said during a tour of the coastal community of Jaimanitas, reported Prensa Latina news agency Agencia Prensa Latina.

Beasley made a brief official visit to the Cuban capital to verify the situation on the island, hit last weekend by the intense hurricane Irma, which left 10 dead, 1.7 million evacuees and economic damages yet to be quantified.

Executive Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley, exchanges with municipal authorities on the damages caused by Hurricane Irma in the town of Jaimanitas. Photo: Lisandra Fariñas Acosta

“I am here on behalf of the United Nations to observe, work and see with the Cuban authorities how we can cooperate,” said the WFP Executive Director, who met a few hours ago with the first Cuban Vice-President, Miguel Díaz-Canel.

The official recalled that the United Nations agency mobilized in Cuba 1.6 metric tons of food before the hurricane and added that it has provided $ 1.5 million from its emergency fund to buy more food.

The relief operation will begin with the free distribution of rice and beans – basic foods in the Cuban diet – in areas of higher priority, with emphasis on primary school pupils of internal and semi-internal regime, and children under five.

Also included will be people over 65, pregnant and lactating mothers.

WFP also plans to install 10 temporary warehouses and the delivery of blankets to cover food and luminaires.

During his “short and intense day” in Cuba, the executive director of the WFP also spoke with the chief of the National General Staff of the Cuban Civil Defense, Brigadier General Ramon Pardo, revealed an official note published in the Cuban media.