The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is working with the Cuban Government to provide food for 180,000 people in hard-hit eastern areas of the island as they cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
“We estimate that we will need $4 million to assist 180,000 people during the next six months, and my call now is to the donor community to help us mobilize funds to assist the most vulnerable people affected by the hurricane in Cuba,” said Laura Melo, WFP Representative in Cuba, adding that the agency is working closely with national authorities to provide help to people most affected by the disaster.
According to the release, WFP’s primary response will include using the food stocks that are already in the country to help people that are most in need, followed by providing supplies to vulnerable groups – such as children between six months and three years of age, pregnant women and adults over 65 in affected areas such as Caimanera, Manuel Tame, Yateras, and Moa in Holguin province.
WFP also stated that it is aiming to improve nutrition of the vulnerable groups by delivering a corn and soybean fortified cereal compound to pregnant women, and micronutrient powder to children between the ages of 12 and 23 months.
The assessment of damages caused by Hurricane Matthew continues in Cuba, while significant food losses and damage to agriculture, homes and infrastructure have already been reported.
Hurricane Matthew hit Cuba on 4 October with winds over 200 kilometres per hour. It has been the most powerful storm, classified a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, to strike the island in nearly a decade.