After Gustav and Ike, Cuba Needs A Gentle Storm of Generosity

The Cuban people need our help.
 
As you know, Hurricane Gustav inflicted grave damage on Cuba last week, including the destruction of homes, electrical grids and crops.   It was described as Cuba’s worst hurricane in 50 years.
 
With little time to recover, Hurricane Ike entered and hammered the eastern part of the island on Sunday, completely destroying the town of Baracoa in Guantanamo before crossing over Holguin, Las Tunas, Ciego de Avila and Camaguey, sweeping away houses, roofs, trees, crops, electrical posts and other key infrastructure.

The damage is immense.  Just one week after Gustav destroyed around 100,000 houses and caused up to $5 billion in damage, the United Nations now estimates that Ike piled on between $3 billion and $4 billion in losses, with more than 140,000 structures damaged or destroyed.

Unlike Gustav, where only minor injuries were reported, Hurricane Ike has claimed four lives thus far.  On Tuesday afternoon, Ike crossed over Pinar del Rio, the province hit the hardest from Gustav, where it finished off many houses and other structures barely left standing after Gustav.  

Last week, after we reached out to you for contributions, many of you responded with great generosity and made thousands of dollars in donations.  We thank you; this assistance for the Cuban people is much needed and appreciated during these difficult times.  

Like you, our hearts ache for the Cubans who are dealing with this tragedy. Unfortunately, the situation is even grimmer now than it was last week.  In the wake of Hurricane Ike, we are asking you again to join our organizations and other Americans who want to help the Cuban people by sending charitable aid for recovery from these terrible storms.

We have identified 7 organizations operating here in the U.S. which can legally accept contributions from U.S. citizens that can, in turn, send aid to Cuba.  We strongly urge everyone who can donate money to do so through any of these groups. We are asking that checks be written to the organization(s) you choose and then mailed to one place so that we can keep track of the money we have collectively raised and report back to all of you.  
 
We will immediately send your checks on to the organizations you have identified. Please write checks to one of the organizations listed below and then mail checks to:

Cuba Hurricane Relief, P.O. Box 53106, Washington, DC 20009. (Note: you can also donate online directly to any of these organizations, or through the Cuba Central site at

 
Sincerely,
 
Cuba Central and Center for Democracy in the Americas
Center for International Policy
Fund for Reconciliation and Development
Latin America Working Group

 

1.   The Disarm Education Fund
 
Since 1994, the Disarm Cuban Medical Project has worked to combat the effects of the US embargo against Cuba on the health of the Cuban people and to advocate for a change in US policy, delivering more than $75 million worth of desperately needed medicines and medical supplies to Cuba, benefiting more than 2 million people. They are committed to supplying 60 Cuban hospitals and community clinics – 20 in Havana and 40 in the countryside – with supplies ranging from such desperately needed basics as aspirin, insulin, gauze pads, and syringes, to the most advanced treatments for pediatric cancer and AIDS. (www.disarm.org)  

2.   Global Links

Global Links’ program of medical aid to Cuba began in 1994 at the request of The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). This program is a federally licensed humanitarian aid program. Aid sent is received and distributed to health institutions by the PAHO/WHO office in Havana and the Cuban Ministry of Health. Global Links has received a list of requested products from PAHO and is raising funds to purchase and send them to Cuba. (http://www.globallinks.org/where_we_work/cuba/)

3.    Operation USA

Since its inception in September 1998, CMAP has delivered major shipments to pediatric hospitals and other health facilities. Supplies are donated by private companies, hospitals and physicians and are sent to Cuba under license from the U.S.-Departments of Commerce and Treasury. Operation USA is accepting cash contributions to pay for shipping medical supplies to Cuba.  (http://www.opusa.org/wherewework/international/cuba/mainpage.html)

4.    MEDICC

MEDICC-Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba, is a non-profit organization working to enhance cooperation among the US, Cuban and global health communities aimed at better health outcomes. MEDICC supports education and development of human resources in health committed to equitable access and quality care, providing the Cuban experience to inform global debate, practice, policies and cooperation in health. MEDICC is seeking financial donations to replenish stocks of key medical reference books lost at the badly damaged Isle of Youth Medical School, where over 2,000 young Cubans study medicine and public health. (http://www.medicc.org/ns/index.php?s=3&p=3)

5.    Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services has worked with Caritas Cubana, the Catholic Church’s relief agency, to provide emergency, humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable and needy people in Cuba since 1993. CRS delivers medicine, medical supplies, food and clothing to Cuba for distribution in hospitals, homes for the elderly, and to children with Down syndrome and other vulnerable groups. CRS is working with Caritas Cubana in the affected areas in infrastructure projects and assistance with access to food, hygiene products and water. (http://crs.org/Cuba/)

6.    Jewish Solidarity

Since 1993, Jewish Solidarity has delivered over 35 tons of medicine, food and other supplies to Cuba’s more than 1500 Jews in Havana and throughout this island nation. They have a humanitarian license that allows them to collect financial donations to then buy the necessary items that are most needed in Cuba.  Jewish Solidarity is accepting financial donations to buy medicine, food and other supplies to be distributed in Cuba.
 
7.    Daughters of Charity

The Daughters of Charity, a non-profit organization based in Miami, Florida, that has been sending humanitarian goods to Cuba since 1994.  You can send a check donation so they can buy needed food items and pay the cost of the containers they will be sending to Cuba.

All donations are tax deductible. Please include your name, address and phone number on any mailed donations in order to receive a donation confirmation letter.

http://democracyinamericas.org/donate/)

Please mail checks to: Cuba Hurricane Relief, P.O. Box 53106, Washington, DC 20009.

 

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