On January 27, 2019, a violent F4 tornado hit Cuba’s capital city of Havana, causing serious damage and affecting the lives of 532,000 people. Humanity & Inclusion, which has been working in Cuba since 1998, launched an emergency project that will support 830 families, including 200 people with disabilities.
The devastating effects of the tornado
The F4 tornado covered 12.4 miles in only 16 minutes, striking five municipalities and affecting 532,000 people. 196 were wounded and six were killed. The storm destroyed homes, hospitals, schools, and other infrastructure. In the aftermath of the catastrophe, 200,000 Cubans found themselves without electricity and 12,600, without access to clean water. Despite the reactivity of public services and the solidarity displayed by the population, the country needs help.
Launching an emergency project
In the weeks following the tornado, Humanity & Inclusion, along with OXFAM and CARE, launched a new emergency project to meet the population’s essential needs. The goal: securing better living and sanitary conditions for the families affected.
The project includes the distribution of hygiene kits, household items, and reconstruction kits, as well as actions to facilitate access to clean water. Humanity & Inclusion will also provide mobility aids (crutches, wheelchairs, walkers, etc.) to people with disabilities.
The project will support 830 families, including 200 people with disabilities, thanks to funding from ECHO.
Humanity & Inclusion in Cuba
Humanity & Inclusion has been working in Cuba since 1998, facilitating access to employment for people with disabilities, providing functional rehabilitation services, and supporting inclusion in disaster risk management. Learn more about our work in Cuba.
Photo caption: A destroyed building in Cuba following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
More than 300,000 Cubans were affected by Hurricane Matthew, which hit southeast Cuba on October 4. The homes of more than 107,000 people were damaged, and more than 100 square miles of crops were destroyed in four areas in the province of Guantánamo. The hurricane destroyed between 90% and 94% of homes in Baracoa and Maisi, located in this province. Handicap International is planning to support the most vulnerable victims of the disaster.Read more
Present in Cuba since 1998, Handicap International works to improve the living conditions of people with disabilities and promote their inclusion in communities.Read more
Humanity & Inclusion in Cuba
Our team has worked in Cuba since 1998, initially supporting artificial limb and orthopedic brace production and community-based rehabilitation. In time, our attention has shifted to support to civil society and inclusive education, along with emergency response to hurricanes.
Cuba is particularly prone to hurricanes, which cause regular and severe economic damage to the country and undermine living conditions, especially for people with disabilities who generally have fewer resources. Cuba is the largest Caribbean nation with 11 million people, and according to the latest estimates, 366,864 people in Cuba have disabilities.
During Obama’s presidency, people with disabilities were given free medical care. Now, transportation and the lack of modern, specialized equipment limit their access to this care.
Areas of Intervention
- Orthopedic fitting and rehabilitation
- Inclusion of people with disabilities in society
- Inclusive employment
- Natural disaster preparation
For the last 15 years, Humanity & Inclusion has been implementing a range of functional rehabilitation projects using local community resources.
The organization's 9-member team helps people with disabilities to obtain adapted employment and strengthen existing vocational training structures. The organization also works with local authorities on disaster risk reduction, taking people with disabilities into account in the responses developed.