Three months after two category-5 hurricanes – Irma and Maria – barreled through the Caribbean, causing widespread damage and loss of life, thousands of children remain in need of support across the region.
Irma, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, caused extensive damage to the islands of the Eastern Caribbean, Haiti and Cuba. Hurricane Maria then wrought additional damage across the region, with UNICEF estimating that the two hurricanes left 350,000 children in need of humanitarian assistance.
“Three months on, UNICEF is still on the ground in these countries and territories, working on programmes to support children and families in rebuilding their lives and returning to a sense of normalcy,” said Maria Cristina Perceval, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
However, challenges remain, with many of the most vulnerable families still feeling the effects of the storms. In Dominica, over 35 per cent of children – particularly those living in shelters – are yet to be enrolled in education activities. In Antigua & Barbuda, many children and families remain in shelters and are unable to return home.
“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.
[UN Children’s Fund]