Hurricane Irma: Unicef appeals for international help for Caribbean islands


Unicef has called for the international community to offer more assistance to the devastated Caribbean islands following Hurricane Irma, saying governments around the world seemed to be relying on Britain, France and the Netherlands to respond to the disaster.The powerful hurricane tore through the Caribbean islands last week, killing at least 34 people and flattening entire communities before wreaking destruction on the US state of Florida on Sunday.

Most of the Caribbean islands affected are overseas territories controlled by the United Kingdom, France, the US and the Netherlands. “People are concerned, there is a general sense that [the British Virgin Islands] is British government territory and therefore the British will handle it,” said Khin-Sandi Lwin, who is leading Unicef’s response in the Caribbean. “So we haven’t been able to raise the funds from other governments at the moment. This is where I do think we need a much bigger international response to the funding that’s needed. “At the moment we are operating on regular funds we have for our ongoing programs. We put aside money – about $800,000 – to get our first response up, but it means our regular programs into next year will be down. We do need that additional funding – about US$2.3m.”(theguardian)…[+]