Cordaid’s emergency aid coordinator James Morgan has reached Saint Martin to assist the victims of Hurricane Irma. A ship from our partner Caritas Antilles arrived there on Monday with food, blankets and hygiene articles for about 3,000 people.
The emergency relief supplies were shipped from Saint Lucia, Caritas Antilles’s base, to Saint Martin, more than 500 km away. An estimated 90% of the houses on Saint Martin have been destroyed in whole or in part. There is no running water and no electricity. In the southern Dutch part of the island, many of the 40,000 inhabitants lack all basic necessities. The church of Philipsburg is said to be crowded with people who have lost everything.
Emergency aid, recovery and psycho-social support
Emergency aid coordinator James Morgan has reached Saint Martin yesterday and is currently assessing the most urgent humanitarian needs. Most probably Cordaid will focus on emergency aid (shelter), recovery and psycho-social support.
So far, Cordaid has committed 200,000 € to answer first needs and necessities. This amount allows us to provide basic shelter material. As much more is needed, Cordaid continues to raise funds and welcomes all donations.
Working with local parishes and Caritas Antilles
Cordaid is working in close collaboration with local parishes and churches at Saint Martin and Curacao, with Caritas Antilles, based at Saint Lucia, and our international partners. Caritas Antilles has already sent supplies (hurricane blankets, canned beans, toiletries, tools, rubber boots etc. for about 3.000 people) via the King Ocean vessel that arrived last Monday.
Support from the Dutch Lenten Campaign
The Dutch Lenten campaign offered financial assistance of 20,000 € to Cordaid for our Saint Martin response. The Dutch bishops will also send out a letter to the parishes to encourage Dutch Catholics to support Saint Martin.