PANAMA CITY, July 3, 2024 – The year’s first major hurricane, Hurricane Beryl, made landfall in the southeastern Caribbean on Monday, July 1, causing widespread damage. The winds, torrential rains and flash flooding could put at least 3 million children in the Caribbean at risk, according to UNICEF estimates.

Hurricane Beryl tore through Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Saint Lucia, bringing high winds, storm surges and heavy rains that damaged safe places for children, including homes and schools.

“As Hurricane Beryl continues its path through the Caribbean, all efforts must be made to prevent loss of life and keep children safe,” said Karin Hulshof, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Our teams in the Caribbean stand ready to support national efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to families in need.”

As extreme weather events threaten the lives of the most vulnerable children and families, UNICEF is supporting emergency relief efforts across the region. “Investing in national capacities to prepare for and respond to climate-related emergencies and to deliver essential services to children is crucial,” added Karin Hulshof.

UNICEF and partners have deployed life-saving supplies in several countries in the Caribbean, including medical kits, educational kits, essential water supplies, sanitation and hygiene materials (such as water tanks, large bottles and water purification tablets) and essential equipment such as high-quality tents. These supplies will be deployed as needed.

Latin America and the Caribbean is the second most disaster-prone region in the world. In the Caribbean, 1.9 million people, including half a million children and adolescents, are affected by disasters each year.. Small island developing states and countries in the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable to climate shocks due to their small size and extreme exposure to natural disasters and the impacts of climate change.

This year, UNICEF has requested $12.4 million to prepare for and respond to emergencies in Latin America and the Caribbean, including countries in the Caribbean.

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