Secretary-General António Guterres (right) meets with Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Public Service of the Commonwealth of Dominica late last month at the UN General Assembly in NYC. (UN Photo)
News Americas, UNITED NATIONS HQ, NY, Thurs. Oct. 5, 2017: The Secretary General of the United Nations was frank Wednesday as he said the donor response to the UN’s appeal to help the Caribbean nations ravaged by hurricanes have been simply “poor.”
Secretary General António Guterres’ comments come as he announced plans to travel to three hurricane ravaged islands in the Caribbean this weekend. They include G Antigua, Barbuda and Dominica.
There SG Guterres will survey the damage first hand and assess what more the United Nations can do to help nationals there recover.
To date, the United Nations and its partners have provided a variety of humanitarian assistance to the Caribbean region by air and by sea: 18 tons of food; 3 million water purification tablets; 3,000 water tanks; 2,500 tents; 2,000 mosquito nets and school kits; 500 debit cards for cash assistance; and much else.
The body has also launched appeals for $113.9 million to cover humanitarian needs for the immediate period ahead and on Wednesday, he urged “donors to respond more generously in the weeks to come.”
“I commend those countries that are showing solidarity with the Caribbean countries at this time of dire need, including those doing so through South-South cooperation,” the SG added. “But on the whole, I regret to report, the response has been poor.”
The United Nations, however, said in a statement it will continue to help countries in the Caribbean to strengthen disaster preparedness, working closely with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.
“We are strongly committed to helping small island states and, indeed, all countries to adapt to inevitable climate impacts, to increase the pace of recovery and to strengthen resilience overall,” Guterres added. “Innovative financing mechanisms will be crucial in enabling countries, like the Caribbean ones, to cope with external shocks of such significant magnitude.