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After the Hurricane – Update on Eastern Cuba

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After the storm, recovery efforts are well underway in eastern Cuba. Photo courtesy: CubaDebate.cu, used by permission.

Cleanup in eastern Cuba after the massive destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew has been underway since the winds subsided.  The Cuban press reported that auditors from the Cuban General Comptroller’s Office in the eastern province of Guantanamo are administrating the funds to facilitate the cleanup.  These funds also include donations raised from international help organizations and fundraising campaigns.

The auditors from the General Comptroller’s Office are also training staff to direct the recovery efforts.  The auditors are also meeting with local people in order to hear their complaints and assist in providing them with resources such as food, electrical power, water supply and sanitation.

Hurricane Matthew reached speeds of 125 mph when it touched down in Cuba.  The Hurricane damage was extensive, especially in the province of Guantanamo.  The municipalities of Baracoa, Maisi, Imias and San Antonio del Sur suffered the worst damage.  More than half of the buildings in Baracoa were toppled.  The power grid was critically damaged in the region.  With a population of more than 80,000, Baracoa was reduced to rubble, closely resembling a war zone.  Agricultural crops and farms were wiped out.  To avoid the brunt of the hurricane more than 316,000 people were evacuated from cities in eastern Cuba.  Of this number more than 1,200 foreign tourists were also evacuated to safety.

Work brigades arrived from Las Tunas, Camagüey and Guantánamo after the winds had subsided to assist.  Members of the army also helped with cleanup efforts to remove boulders, fallen trees and other debris that blocked many roads and access to the cities.

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Arelis Alba Coba, a journalist with Radio Baracoa, @labaracoesa on Twitter, has been updating the world on the hurricane destruction and the recovery efforts underway.

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Tweet from @labaracoesa, Arelis Alba Coba, journalist with Radio Baracoa.

International organizations including the Cuban Red Cross and the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) lent their assistance to eastern Cuba.  The UN agency (CERF) contributed 5.3 million dollars to assist those affected by Hurricane Matthew.  The funds were used to provide first necessity items, and implement aid projects to more than 365 thousand people.  This contribution by the Agency was used for house reconstruction, food security, water supply, sanitation, health and education.

We believe in giving back.  Cuba Business Report is also running a crowdfunding project to help raise money to assist with the cleanup.  Our fund raising campaign has been able to raise over $1,000 to date.  This money has come from some generous private citizens.

Our fundraising campaign does not cover our expenses or time.  Cuba Business Report has covered all Paypal, crowdfunding platform and bank fees to transfer the money to the Huracanes Restauración de daños fund at the Banco Financiero Internacional S.A. in Havana.

Below is the bank transfer receipt for donations to the Huracanes Restauración de daños at the Banco Financiero Internacional S.A. in Havana. We published this receipt because we believe in transparency. The monies we collect are going directly to Cuba and we want to provide the proof of this.

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If you’d like to help out the people of eastern Cuba, please donate to relief efforts.  Even $5.00 will help.  Thanking you.

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