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Hurricanes in the Caribbean

  • 06 September 2017 |
  • Published in Notices
  • Read the latest situation reports about humanitarian assistance being provided to the countries affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria at the website of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
  • What is a Hurricane?

    When a storm's (tropical cyclone) maximum sustained winds reach 119 kilometers per hour (74 mph), it is called a hurricane. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating, or category, based on a hurricane's maximum sustained winds. The higher the category, the greater the hurricane's potential for property damage.  Hurricanes originate in the Atlantic basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico, the eastern North Pacific Ocean, and, less frequently, the central North Pacific Ocean. A six-year rotating list of names, updated and maintained by the World Meteorological Organization, is used to identify these storms.

    (source: NOAA - Hurricane Centre) 


     

    For more information on Hurricanes and preparedness in the Caribbean go to the CDEMA website

    How you can help?

    website donation button

    Donate:

    You can make a donation to one of the country based internatoinal funds managed by the UN Foundation. The UN Reliefweb also provides information on how to donate to specific appeals by the UN following some disaster or emergency. Most times money donations help to get urgent relief items to an area faster, because it helps to buy appropriate medication, food and shelter supplies from the closest or fastest and safest or most trustworthy supplier.

    Be careful of fraud. Double check the source of information before donating. If you have doubts visit the OCHA website or contact a UN office for more information.

    Donations in kind, are also welcome. They will usually be organised by local or internatoinal NGOs or government agencies who work with OCHA to provide supply relief items. It usually takes some time before this process happens. Port facilities and services need to be functioning to make this type of aid successful. 

    Take Action:

    - Find Local or regional NGOs supporting the humanitarian assistance to areas in need: ( check back here to see an active list for Irma)

    - Contact local UN offices to find out more about volunteering or go to the UN Volunteers website

    The UN will post appeals for assistance as soon as an assessment is conducted on the impacted islands/states and based on needs.

     

     


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  • Read the latest situation reports about humanitarian assistance being provided to the countries affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria at the website of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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    How does the UN provide assistance to emergencies, disasters or hazards?

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    Office for the Coordinaton of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)  is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort. 

    OCHA's mission is to:

    • Mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies.
    • Advocate the rights of people in need.
    • Promote preparedness and prevention.
    • Facilitate sustainable solutions.

    The humanitarian programme cycle (HPC) is a coordinated series of actions undertaken to help prepare for, manage and deliver humanitarian response. It consists of five elements coordinated in a seamless manner, with one step logically building on the previous and leading to the next.

    Core HPC Elements are:

    Needs assessment and analysis
    Strategic response planning
    Resource mobilization
    Implementation and monitoring
    Operational review and evaluation

    Learn more about OCHA and how it coordinates humanitarian assistance

    OCHA 25th aniversary logo

     

Read more...

UN emergency teams ‘on the ground’ in the Caribbean to help respond to Hurricane Matthew

5 October 2016 – In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean region, United Nations emergency response teams have been deployed to Haiti and Jamaica to coordinate rapid assessments and support disaster response.

According to a statement issued by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson, though the full extent of the impact remains unclear, the Haitian Government has reported that a number of lives have been lost and at least 350,000 people need immediate assistance.

The statement also noted that the UN is in contact with the authorities across the region and stands ready to assist with response and recovery if required.

Also today at a regular briefing at UN Headquarters in New York, a UN spokesperson toldjournalists that the entire southern part of the country, including capital Port-au-Prince have been affected and the south-east tip of the island suffered the brunt of the hurricane. A main bridge connecting the capital to the south was also swept away this afternoon cutting off access.

The teams have been deployed from the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC), which is managed by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). On the ground, they are logistically supported by the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

UNDAC is part of the international emergency response system for acute emergencies. It was created in 1993 to help the UN and governments of disaster-affected countries during the first phase of a sudden-onset emergency.

Further, in the statement from his office, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his solidarity with the people and Governments of Haiti, Cuba and other countries in the hurricane affected region.

It added said that the UN chief lauded the preparedness efforts of the Cuban authorities, media, and civil society to protect people's lives and economic assets.

In Cuba, more than 377,000 people were evacuated, 1,640 metric tonnes of food was pre-positioned in safe areas, and measures were taken to protect communities and infrastructure threatened by strong winds, rains, storm surge and floods.

In a separate statement today, President of the General Assembly Peter Thomson also expressed deep concern for the people of Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Bahamas and other countries in the Caribbean as they struggle to cope with the effects of the hurricane and offered his condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives as a result of the storm.

“As a Fijian who has witnessed first hand the power and devastation of such destructive tropical cyclones, I fully empathise with those facing up to the damage,” he said, adding: “The world must stand with the victims at this time as people of goodwill everywhere recognise their suffering and stand ready to offer a helping hand.”

Read more...

UN emergency teams ‘on the ground’ in the Caribbean to help respond to Hurricane Matthew

5 October 2016 – In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean region, United Nations emergency response teams have been deployed to Haiti and Jamaica to coordinate rapid assessments and support disaster response.

According to a statement issued by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson, though the full extent of the impact remains unclear, the Haitian Government has reported that a number of lives have been lost and at least 350,000 people need immediate assistance.

The statement also noted that the UN is in contact with the authorities across the region and stands ready to assist with response and recovery if required.

Also today at a regular briefing at UN Headquarters in New York, a UN spokesperson toldjournalists that the entire southern part of the country, including capital Port-au-Prince have been affected and the south-east tip of the island suffered the brunt of the hurricane. A main bridge connecting the capital to the south was also swept away this afternoon cutting off access.

The teams have been deployed from the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC), which is managed by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). On the ground, they are logistically supported by the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

UNDAC is part of the international emergency response system for acute emergencies. It was created in 1993 to help the UN and governments of disaster-affected countries during the first phase of a sudden-onset emergency.

Further, in the statement from his office, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his solidarity with the people and Governments of Haiti, Cuba and other countries in the hurricane affected region.

It added said that the UN chief lauded the preparedness efforts of the Cuban authorities, media, and civil society to protect people's lives and economic assets.

In Cuba, more than 377,000 people were evacuated, 1,640 metric tonnes of food was pre-positioned in safe areas, and measures were taken to protect communities and infrastructure threatened by strong winds, rains, storm surge and floods.

In a separate statement today, President of the General Assembly Peter Thomson also expressed deep concern for the people of Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Bahamas and other countries in the Caribbean as they struggle to cope with the effects of the hurricane and offered his condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives as a result of the storm.

“As a Fijian who has witnessed first hand the power and devastation of such destructive tropical cyclones, I fully empathise with those facing up to the damage,” he said, adding: “The world must stand with the victims at this time as people of goodwill everywhere recognise their suffering and stand ready to offer a helping hand.”

Read more...

UN Hazards and Disasters

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United Nations offices in the Cribbean also provide support in emergencies or  times of Crisis. This assistance can come in the form of immeidate funds, supply of personnel, equipment, technology or even food and basic necessities. It all depends on the nature of an emergency and how much help a government requests. One of the most impacting ways the UN has been helping Caribbean States is by supporting activities that help them to better prepare for disasters.

 

UN Photo/Ari GaitanisCERF 

 One important service is the Central Emergency Response Fund or CERF. It is one of the fastest and most effective ways to support rapid humanitarian response for people affected by natural disasters and armed conflict. CERF receives voluntary contributions year-round to provide immediate funding for life-saving humanitarian action anywhere in the world.

How CERF works -

CERF pools contributions from donors – mainly governments, but also, foundations, companies, charities and individuals – into a single fund with a $450 million annual target.

This money is set aside for immediate use at the onset of emergencies, in rapidly deteriorating situations and in protracted crises that fail to attract sufficient resources.

In emergencies, humanitarian organizations apply jointly for funding. Funds are immediately released if these proposals meet CERF’s criteria, i.e. the needs are urgent and the proposed activities will save lives.

[ more information abour CERF ]

 

 Coordination of emergency response and recovery

Another important function of the United Nations is the coordination of response to disasters and hazards. The UN facilitates the receipt and distribution of humanitarian assistance across many regions in the world where critical assistance is needed.  It collaborates with a number of international organisations that wish to provide assistance such as medical aid, food and drugs, water and sanitation and so on.  The specialising agency for this effort is known as Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance ( OCHA) - its people staff come from over 30 offices around the world, some 1,900 specialized and dedicated staff work to ensure that effective assistance reaches millions of humanitarian beneficiaries in four continents.

[ learn more about OCHA

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Contact

Email: unic.portofspain@unic.org 

Telephone: 1(868) 623 8438 or 623 4813

Fax: 1 (868) 623 4332 

Address: 

2nd Floor Bretton Hall, 16 Victoria Avenue, 

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

 

 

 

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