In September 2017, the Caribbean endured four successive hurricanes (Irma, Jose, Katia and Maria), two of which were the strongest and most devastating storms ever measured in the Atlantic. These natural disasters caused catastrophic damage throughout many eastern Caribbean countries, creating an extremely vulnerable situation for the most vulnerable segments of these populations.
Irma damaged or destroyed 95% of the structures in Barbuda, including hospitals and schools. It completely flattened some residential blocks while submerging others. Aside from the destruction to thousands of homes, most supermarkets and the water supply system, because of severe damage to its roads, harbours, airport and communication systems, Maria had effectively cut Dominica off from the rest of the world and many of its towns from each other. Today, the governments and citizens of these and other countries are still faced with the overwhelming task of rebuilding their lives from unthinkable destruction.
The organizers of the One Love Hurricane Relief Concert are appealing to you to help those of our brothers and sisters who have been affected by the devastation, by donating to this relief fund. Proceeds raised through this fund will be donated directly to UNICEF for their work to assist communities in affected areas of the Caribbean.
UNICEF has been “on the ground in the Caribbean rapidly distributing emergency supplies in coordination with national authorities and UN partner agencies in the most affected communities. Supplies include water purification tablets, school-in-a-box kits, early childhood development kits, school bags, tents and tarpaulin, teaching supplies, as well as hygiene and comfort kits for affected children and families.”
However, relief efforts are still in their infancy and longer-term recovery efforts have yet to be implemented. UNICEF estimates that “more than 330,000 children are still in need of immediate assistance. Many schools have been damaged, including more than 2,200 in Cuba and 132 in Anguilla, Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos. Water infrastructure has been damaged, and food production, health and education affected.” At the most optimistic of estimates, it will take months, if not years to rebuild lives and communities.
Donate today to the One Love Hurricane Relief Fund. Your donations raised from these efforts will go to UNICEF for their humanitarian work in those Caribbean islands ravaged by the hurricanes.
Let us help to restore, rebuild and revitalize the Caribbean together!