The international community is continuing to come together to help rebuild the island nation of Dominica ravaged by Hurricane Maria last month.
The country was one of the hardest hit during this year’s Caribbean hurricane season of Category 4 and 5 storms. The United Nations reported that some 65,000 people on the island were affected and 100 percent of its crops were damaged.
The Dominican navy and airforce immediately brought injured citizens to its own hospitals. Antigua and Barbuda provided communications infrastructure, Venezuela was one of the first countries to send large shipments of food and hygiene products to Dominica and Barbados brought in two coast guard boats of water and emergency supplies. Several medical professionals were also sent to care for the sick and injured. Several other Caribbean Community, CARICOM, members sent aid to Dominica in the storm’s wake.
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, CDEMA, sent 360 brigades to the island to help with search and rescue, damage assessment and emergency response logistics in the weeks that have followed the Category 5 storm. The U.N. Humanitarian Air Service supported aid and government workers in Dominica. The United States and several members of the European Union provided large quantities of food, water and basic humanitarian products, including electrical generators.
Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has expressed his gratitude to the international community several times saying, “We have many allies ... thanks for helping my people. Without you, our partner nations, it would not have been possible to get past the first phase of this emergency.”
A recent U.N. study found that 23 percent of homes were destroyed and still need to be reconstructed while 39 percent are in severe disrepair. Shortly after the storm, the U.N. made a request to the international community for US$31 million to help rebuild the island over the next three months.