Following the passage of Hurricane Irma in September of 2017, the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross has been working tirelessly with our partners to assist in recovery efforts on our ravaged sister Isle of Barbuda.
“The devastation brought on by Hurricanes Irma and Maria is extreme, and the road to recovery for many of these islands is long and uneven,” said Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), following a visit to Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, and Dominica. “I see the dedication and endurance of Red Cross staff and volunteers working alongside communities that have lost everything but have started to rebuild their lives from scratch.”
During his visit, Mr Sy met with senior government officials and Red Cross staff and volunteers. He stressed the need for urgent investment in programmes designed to strengthen resilience and help communities withstand the impact of future storms.
“Investment in recovery is a critical priority to ensure these Caribbean islands are ready and resilient for when the next hurricane hits,” said Mr Sy. “More domestic resources, and stronger coordination between governments and local actors such as Red Cross societies is needed to help people rebuild their lives and jumpstart the national economies,” he said.
In Barbuda, where 95 per cent of the island’s buildings were destroyed by Hurricane Irma, the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross is working with other humanitarian organizations to rebuild homes, re-establish clean water supplies, hygiene, sanitation and healthcare.