The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is sending experts on crisis recovery to support the people of the Caribbean after they braved Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the Atlantic.
The UNDP has activated its crisis preparedness plans in several countries in the region.
The organisation will support islands both during the immediate response to this disaster and in crucial early recovery activities like debris and waste management, emergency employment and supporting core government functions, if asked.
Barbuda, St Martin and St Barthelemy were among the worst-hit, and Irma is currently battering the west coast of Florida with 120mph (175kmph) gusts.
“The hurricane may severely impact people’s livelihoods — directly affecting women, men and children — impacting crucial activities for people, communities and entire countries such as agriculture, fisheries and small and medium enterprises,” said Jessica Faieta, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
In the past decade, the UNDP has invested nearly US$300 million in disaster preparedness in Latin America and the Caribbean, working with governments at the national and local levels, as well as communities.
Last year the UNDP allocated over $2 million for crisis response and preparedness in the region and deployed nearly 100 officers to provide immediate support to affected countries.