Though three months has passed since hurricanes Maria and Irma terrorized and destroyed Caribbean islands, thousands of children remain without basic necessities, clean water, social services and shelter, United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef, said.
Hurricane Irma wrought havoc in Haiti, Cuba, and the Eastern Caribbean islands. Maria, however, pulverized the region, Unicef said, leaving an estimated 350,000 children in desperate need of humanitarian aid.
“Even before the hurricanes hit, Unicef was on the ground, working with governments and local partners to prepare communities and preposition humanitarian supplies for the areas at highest risk,” said Latin America and Caribbean regional Unicef director Maria Cristina Perceval.
“Three months on, Unicef is still on the ground in these countries and territories, working on programs to support children and families in rebuilding their lives and returning to a sense of normalcy,” Perceval said.
Over 35 percent of Dominica’s children are without educational activities, many of these are also homeless since the devastating tropical storms.
“While life is returning to normal for many, children and families who have lived through these storms will need committed, sustained support to get their homes, communities, and lives back on track,” added Perceval.
Through Unicef’s efforts and with support from governments and NGO partners from around the Caribbean, communities have begun to rebuild with new programs aimed at long-term recovery and resilience.
A few of thee include training activities led by the Health, Education and Human Development ministries as well as services to provide preventative training against gender-based violence, and funding for lifesaving assistance programs and clean water initiatives.