United Nations Development Programme Ready To Help Hurricane-Hit Caribbean Nations.

Photo: UNDP/Makini Barrow.
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This week, Hurricane Beryl made landfall in the Caribbean region, bringing winds of 140 to 160 mph, and becoming the first hurricane on record to reach category 5 so early in the Atlantic hurricane season.

In Jamaica, and the Eastern Caribbean, entire communities have been flooded, houses destroyed, livelihoods wiped out, and the full scale of this event is not yet known, because of the difficulty of getting to the more remote islands where infrastructure and communications have been damaged.

“We are deeply saddened by the devastating loss of life, the impact on livelihoods and infrastructures as well as the suffering caused to communities by this hurricane. UNDP remains in solidarity with the Caribbean people, and we stand ready to support the governments and communities with immediate critical needs as they begin to recover from this event”, said Michelle Muschett, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

“The UNDP Multi Country Office (MCO) in Jamaica remains in touch with national authorities to ascertain immediate needs and to deploy technical, financial and in-kind resources for disaster response and recovery in cooperation with our sister UN agencies and other regional and international partners.

Beyond immediate needs, UNDP remains available to help advance climate adaptation programming and disaster risk and resilience interventions in an era of increasingly frequent and intense storm systems,” said Kishan Khoday, UNDP Resident Representative for Jamaica, Bermuda, Belize, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.

The UNDP also stands ready to deploy personnel to support national and regional emergency management authorities in launching relief and recovery efforts and to this end, continues to monitor the path of the hurricane as it appears on track to impact Belize.

Preliminary reports from Jamaica indicate that two persons are dead, with widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure, especially in rural areas. Telecommunications and electricity supply have also been significantly impacted, affecting hundreds of thousands. In the Cayman Islands, assessments are still underway to determine the scale of the impact.

Beryl is the second named storm of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season – which was forecast to be a very active one.

Ocean temperatures, already elevated due to climate variability and change, have been further increased by the 2023-24 El Niño phenomenon.

From a period of intense drought, we are expected to transition to a stronger-than-normal hurricane season.

This season, 20-25 storms are forecasted, of which 8-12 could become hurricanes.

As this unprecedented hurricane season is getting started, UNDP will continue supporting the region in prevention, preparedness, and recovery.

UNDP’s mission globally and in the Caribbean is to end poverty, inequality and exclusion, and scale up action on climate change and ecosystems, while building resilience to crisis.

Source: UN Press Release.
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