Statement from the Secretary-General of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), H.E. Mr. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, on the passage of Hurricane Isaias

Brussels, 7 August 2020/OACPS: In what was forecast to be an active Atlantic hurricane season, I am nonetheless disturbed to learn of the passage of Hurricane Isaias in the Caribbean region from 28 July to 1 August 2020 and the destruction caused to Members of the OACPS which are still under siege from the COVID-19 pandemic.

With maximum winds of 137km/hr, Hurricane Isaias has left two reported deaths in the Dominican Republic, along with widespread flooding. In the Bahamas, which is still recovering from the impact of the 2019 Hurricane Dorian, Hurricane Isaias has damaged homes, toppled trees and further compounded the devastation of the previous Hurricane. Severe flooding has left families homeless in Cuba, and Haiti has had damage to crops and homes.

The OACPS Secretariat is collecting data on the impact of the hurricane and is collaborating with the European Commission (EC), as well as international and regional partners to ensure the delivery of emergency supplies and humanitarian relief. We are also launching an appeal for solidarity from the EC and the international community to provide financial and technical assistance to help address the immediate short-term needs of those affected by the Hurricane, as well as the longer-term task of recovery and reconstruction.

On behalf of the Members of the OACPS, I commiserate with the Governments of the impacted States, the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives and who have been displaced by this natural disaster, so early in the hurricane season. The OACPS reiterates its ongoing resolve to assist the affected Governments and the people of the Caribbean region through the €100M Natural Disaster Risk Management programme of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).