UNICEF concerned hundreds of thousands of children could be directly affected
More than 10.5 million children live in the countries that are likely to be exposed to the damage from Hurricane Irma, UNICEF warned today. Based on the storm’s current trajectory, children in the islands of the Eastern Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba are at risk, including over 3 million under 5 years old. UNICEF is concerned that hundreds of thousands of children could suffer the worst effects of the storm, with those living in coastal zones at highest risk.
“Strong winds and torrential rains have already barreled through some of the smallest and most exposed islands in the eastern Caribbean, including Anguila and Barbuda,” said Patrick Knight, Head of Communication for UNICEF in the Eastern Caribbean, speaking from Barbados. “As the extent of the damage becomes clear we are seeing severe levels of destruction. Our priority is to reach all those children and families in the affected communities as soon as possible.”
Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, travelled across various islands of the Eastern Caribbean on Wednesday, leaving a trail of destruction in its path, especially in Anguila, the British Virgin Islands, Barbuda and Turks and Caicos Islands. Early estimates suggest that 74,000 people, including 20,000 children, have been affected in these islands.