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Cuba: Hurricane Sandy Emergency appeal n° MDRCU002

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In view of the significant needs identified during assessments, this Emergency Appeal reflects a budget of 12,223,402 Swiss francs to support the Cuban Red Cross to help vulnerable families, and seeks to provide assistance to approximately 175,000 beneficiaries (35,000 families) for 12 months. The operation will be completed by the end of October 2013. A Final Report will be made available by 31 January 2014 (three months after the end of the operation).

Appeal history:

• On 27 October, a Preliminary Emergency Appeal was issued seeking 5,453,221 Swiss francs to support the Cuban Red Cross (CRC) to assist 15,000 families (75,000 beneficiaries) for nine months.

• 150,000 Swiss francs were allocated from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies´ (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 29 October 2012 to support this operation. Unearmarked funds to replenish the DREF are encouraged.

Summary: Sandy arrived at the Cuban shores at dawn on 25 October as a category two hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometres per hour, although gusts as high as 240 kilometres per hour were recorded. The hurricane crossed the island of Cuba from south to north, making landfall in Mar Verde next to the city of Santiago de Cuba. After its five hour passage immense devastation was left behind, particularly in the city of Santiago, the second largest in the country which received its direct impact. At least 1,000,000 people were affected by the strong winds and rains that caused the total collapse of over 32,500 homes.

In response to the current emergency, the Cuban Red Cross has designed a plan of action to reach 10,000 families with non-food relief items, 15,000 with shelter solutions, and 10,000 with water, sanitation and hygiene promotion. Once the immediate relief action is completed, the National Society will also work in strengthening the country’s early warning and risk reduction system in identified vulnerable municipalities.