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United Arab Emirates and WFP worked together to support Havana's recovery after a tornado

HAVANA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed today a cooperation agreement, worth more than US$272,000, to continue supporting the response and recovery efforts initiated by the Cuban authorities following a tornado that hit Havana last January.

"It is an honour for us to work together with the WFP office in Havana with the aim of addressing this challenging situation,” said the UAE Ambassador, Bader Almatrooshi. “We look forward to the benefits that this collaboration will bring to the Cuban people."

The tornado destroyed the grain unloader that services ships at the José Antonio Echeverría pier in the municipality of Regla. The UAE-WFP agreement will allow the purchase of a new grain unloader.

At the signing ceremony of the agreement and on behalf of the Government of Cuba, Carlos Fidel Martín, Director of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, thanked the UAE and WFP for their solidarity with the people of Havana.

The WFP Representative in Cuba, Paolo Mattei, acknowledged the generous contribution of the UAE government. “The installation of the new cereal unloader will support the Cuban food industry to reach previous levels of wheat flour and bread production, which benefits more than two million people in the country," said Mattei.

This operation is part of the action plan launched by the United Nations System in Cuba following the tornado in Havana on 27 January 2019. The tornado left six people dead, 200 wounded and 8,000 homes affected.

After the tornado, WFP distributed some 190 tons of food (rice, beans and oil) to 11,258 families in the municipalities of Regla, Diez de Octubre, Guanabacoa, Cerro, Habana del Este and Marianao.


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The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

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For more information please contact (email address:

Yursys Miranda, WFP/Cuba,
Tel. +537-204 2039