A new operational hub for distributing emergency aid to victims of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean has been established on the island of Antigua, the World Food Programme (WFP) announced on Tuesday.
Irma decimated many islands in the region as it barrelled west towards Florida, including Barbuda.
The entire population – some 1800 people – has been evacuated to Antigua.
WFP is providing around 20 metric tons of high-energy biscuits, enough to feed 17,000 for three days.
Life-saving assistance is being followed up with cash payments for around 20,000 in the eastern Caribbean, who have lost homes and livelihoods.
“WFP is also launching an emergency operation for the Western Caribbean islands including Turks and Caicos territory which is serving as an operational hub for that region,” UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric said.
“Also being transported by WFP to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean are crucial non-food items, including mobile storage units, tarpaulins, prefabs, generators and other logistics and telecommunications support equipment. WFP has also offered to support the government of Cuba by providing food and logistical assistance where it is needed.”