Hurricane Matthew hit the eastern part of Cuba as a category 4 hurricane on 4 October 2016 causing significant destruction, severe flooding and extensive population displacements. Initial government reports indicate that the provinces of Guantánamo and Holguín have been hit the hardest. As the magnitude of this disaster continues to unfold, an estimated 500,000 people are currently reported as directly affected. Of those, WFP estimates that 179,000 people will require immediate food assistance.
The Government of Cuba launched its response mechanism to hurricane Matthew on 30 September: it reached alarm level on 3 October, which was upgraded to the Governments’ recovery phase on 5 October, the day after Matthew crossed the Cuban territory. This phase includes the provision of immediate and multi-sectorial response and increased assistance to populations in affected areas.
Through this emergency operation, WFP, together with partner agencies will support the Government of Cuba to provide an initial six-month assistance to 179,000 people vulnerable to food insecurity and highly affected by the hurricane in the provinces of Guantánamo and Holguín. WFP assistance will complement that of the government to ensure adequate food rations are provided to the most vulnerable populations to meet their daily food and nutritional needs. Interventions will also include blanket supplementary feeding for children aged 6 to 36 months and pregnant and lactating women, to prevent a deterioration of their nutritional status. Assistance will be primarily provided through existing government social protection programmes targeting women, children, the elderly and households impacted by the storm.