News

UN: Don’t Forget Hurricane Sandy’s Impact on the Caribbean

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - October 29, 2013

Above: post-Sandy destruction in Cuba (UN Photo/Juan Pablo Carreras)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Much of the northeastern United States was devastated by Hurricane Sandy last year, but the United Nations is urging the public not to forget the storm’s destruction in the Caribbean.

The storm hit countries across the region, from the Bahamas and Cuba to Haiti and the Dominican Republic before making landfall in the United States.

While recovery efforts are ongoing, the UN says the “suffering of those in developing Caribbean nations may have been underplayed.”

“While the mainland US suffered greater losses in terms of total fatalities and the extent of damage, for the Caribbean nations, Cuba and Haiti in particular, the storm was comparatively more expensive – having a much more profound impact on local livelihoods and the GDP,” said Jo Scheuer, UNDP Coordinator of Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery. “Because of socio-economic vulnerabilities, people in developing countries are often less prepared for a large event and unfortunately are not as quick to bounce back or recover.”

The UN has been working in both Cuba and Haiti to help mitigate the impact of future disasters. In Haiti, the world body has begun projects to use disaster-resilient construction for homes and sea walls, among other initiatives.

The UNDP has been supporting similar programmes in Cuba for some time, Scheuer said.

Today, fewer people die in Cuba during hurricane season “than in any neighbouring states,” he said.

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