Government announces further funding to assist the victims of Carribbean Hurricanes
Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, Mr. Conor Lenihan TD, announced today further humanitarian relief of €250,000 to help some 400,000 people affected by a series of storms that have ravaged impoverished Haiti and Grenada in recent weeks. This is in addition to the €250,000 committed on the 23rd of September.
Over the past month in Haiti, more than 1,500 people were killed, and some 300,000 people affected when floods caused by hurricane Ivan and tropical storm Jeanne submerged much of Haiti's north, including more than 80 per cent of the city of Gonaïves. In addition to immediate needs for food and shelter, there remain significant needs for international support for the rehabilitation of hospitals and schools that have been badly damaged or destroyed. Severe environmental degradation has led to an increased frequency of landslides and floods. Already one of the world's poorest countries, Haiti's vulnerabilities have been worsened by persistent political instability.
In Grenada, the entire population of 100,000 was affected by the storms. An estimated 90 per cent of all houses were damaged or destroyed, and virtually all of this season's crops were wiped out when hurricane Ivan battered the three-island nation with winds of 220 km/hour. The agricultural, fishing and tourism sectors of Grenada's economy were all hit hard and could suffer the effects of this disaster for years. The increased funding will help meet the urgent needs for shelter, medicines and equipment to treat or stop the spread of communicable diseases, and to put in place the foundations for economic recovery.
In making the announcement Minister Lenihan said;
“Three ferocious storms, one after the other, over such short space of time, have devastated both Grenada and Haiti. The populations of these small island states, already very poor, have suffered hugely, with many people dying and many others having completely lost their livelihoods. The funds we are releasing today are in direct response to the latest needs assessment carried out by the UN and will be focussed primarily on meeting the basic needs of the most vulnerable people.”
4th October 2004