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Order of Malta Australia


Cuba: Rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy


On 25 October 2012, Hurricane Sandy swept across the island, causing severe damages. Photo: Reuters

Nine months ago, Hurricane Sandy swept through the Caribbean and the U.S. Atlantic coast, leaving behind a path of death and destruction. In Cuba, the category 2 hurricane made landfall on 25 October 2012, and although the population was warned hours before, many were not prepared for the intensity of the storm. Santiago de Cuba, the country’s second largest city, was directly hit by the storm and suffered the most damages. 11 people died, 185,000 houses were severely damaged, and 15,000 houses were completely destroyed. Many families are still homeless today.

Malteser International (the International Relief agency of the Order of Malta), together with the Cuban Association of the Order of Malta and the Archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba, is helping rebuild 61 severely damaged homes for more than 300 residents in the most affected regions. The organization will supply roofing and construction materials as well as replace damaged home furnishings such as mattresses, sheets and basic household appliances. 

In addition, Malteser International will help train the helpers of its Cuban partners. “We would like to help them develop their knowledge on the principles of humanitarian aid,” explains Michael Thanner, program manager for Cuba at Malteser International. For this purpose, Malteser International will conduct workshops on the SPHERE project, an internationally recognized set of common principles and universal standards for humanitarian response. “These trainings will serve to streamline the local helpers’ efforts and to provide them with relevant knowledge about disasters, as they will continue to strike the island in the future,” Thanner added.

Related articles:

Project update: In pictures – clothing delivery to flooding victims in Suai

What the papers say – Coats for the Homeless

Malteser International Annual Report 2012

The Australian Association

The Australian Association, formed in 1974, currently has in excess of 300 members and aspirant members across every State and Territory of Australia. We also have ongoing and strong links with the Order’s National Associations throughout the Asia Pacific Region including in Singapore and the Philippines and with members of the Order in New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand and Korea. The Order of Malta is committed to serving Our Lords the Poor and Sick worldwide and has done so for over 900 years. This website shares with you the history, mission and current activities of the Order of Malta in Australia, and provides links to the work of the Order world-wide.