UN stresses gender-sensitive approach in response to Hurricane Beryl — Global Issues


The response planunveiled on Tuesday, estimates initial requirements at $9 million and aims to support about 43,000 people in Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These estimates are subject to change as detailed assessments are underway.

The plan aims to provide life-saving multi-sectoral assistance, complementing government efforts, while ensuring the protection of women, girls and other vulnerable groups from gender-based violence.

It will also support the rapid delivery and resumption of essential services and livelihoods in affected areas, including restoring health, water and sanitation, education and agricultural services.

Gender sensitivity is crucial

The plan emphasizes that gender sensitivity will be crucial in needs assessments, and in

the response, as both countries have a significant percentage of female-headed households.

Nearly half of all households in Grenada and 39 percent in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are headed by women.

The region also has high levels of violence against women and girls, with nearly 39 percent of women in Grenada having experienced violence in a relationship.

Reaction phases

The initial humanitarian response is expected to take place in two main phases that may overlap in practice, depending on the situation on the ground. This approach will ensure that immediate needs are met while laying the foundation for long-term recovery.

In the short term, humanitarian organisations will work rapidly to expand the scope and scale of relief efforts. This includes rapid assessments, scaling up deliveries, restoring key sectors such as health, water and sanitation, and addressing protection risks.

The focus will then shift to helping people get their lives back on track. This phase would include recovery and reconstruction, restoring livelihoods, building resilience and transitioning to longer-term activities.

International solidarity

To kick-start the response, the UN Secretary-General last week allocated $4 million from the organization Central Emergency Aid Fund (CERF), including $1.5 million for Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Canada announced $1 million in aid, which will be distributed through UN agencies and the Red Cross. It is also supporting the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

OCHA also urged interested individual donors to make financial contributions to reputable charities or aid organisations and to refrain from in-kind donations, as these may not match identified needs or meet required quality standards. This could create administrative burdens and undermine local markets.

Contributions can also be made to CERF, the OCHA-UNDP Connecting Business Initiative (CBi), or by supporting public advocacy and outreach. Support or contribution can be reported online to the Financial tracking service to ensure consistency and minimize duplication.

A family stands in front of their home damaged by Hurricane Beryl in St. Andrews, Grenada.

© UNICEF/Sam Ogilvie

A family stands in front of their home damaged by Hurricane Beryl in St. Andrews, Grenada.

Strongest hurricane ever in June

Hurricane Beryl was the strongest hurricane in history that emerged in the Atlantic Ocean in June.

Initially a tropical depression, the storm quickly intensified to a Category 4 storm and briefly reached Category 5 status, with winds of up to 240 km/h (150 mph).

UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) experts have warned of a “very intense” hurricane season this year, with near-record ocean temperatures and the shift to La Niña conditions.

The agency has predicted that 25 named storms are expected through November, with eight to 13 of those potentially developing into hurricanes.

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