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From early recovery to long-term resilience in the Caribbean - Hurricanes Irma and Maria: One year on

Sep 14, 2018

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season will forever be remembered by the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the northern and eastern Caribbean. During that season, of the 13 named tropical storms, two catastrophic Category 5 hurricanes – Irma and Maria – made landfall, and caused havoc and devastation in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Sint Maarten, the Bahamas, Saint Barthelemy, and the Turks and Caicos Islands from September 6-19. They also impacted the southeastern islands of the Bahamas, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the northern border of Haiti.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria became a corporate priority for UNDP even before their landfall. Preparedness plans were activated and senior leadership of all different parts of the organization worked together to identify needs rapidly and define the appropriate course of action. The Crisis Response Unit (CRU) immediately activated its response mechanisms, assisting with the deployment of first responders and SURGE experts together with catalytic funding that enabled UNDP to establish solid teams in multiple islands simultaneously. 

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