“The close and enduring friendship between the United States and Colombia means we are there for each other in times of need, we are proud to be able to support the people of San Andres and Providencia as they confront this devastating natural disaster.”
(CMR) The United States Ambassador to Colombia, Philip S. Goldberg, has announced that the U.S. will provide the government of Colombia with US$100,000 to respond to the immense humanitarian need after Hurricane Iota.
In addition, CMR received confirmation that a US military humanitarian plane touched down earlier this afternoon to provide humanitarian assistance in Providencia.
The funds will support the efforts of the national government to respond to the devastation caused by Hurricane Iota in the San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina archipelago.
The initial funding will be used to purchase communications equipment, supplies for clearing debris, and other critical aid supplies for affected populations.
Additionally, the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team, which is working with the U.S. Embassy, the Government of Colombia, local institutions and humanitarian organizations to evaluate needs and identify the most urgent priorities.
The Colombian government has announced an ambitious plan to build 1,200 new homes in Providencia in a campaign to rebuild Providencia in 100 days. They have released a 118 action plan which will cost an initial $139,000 million pesos. Phase one includes debris removal so that humanitarian aid can enter the islands as well as deliver food and tents to families. Each family will get two tents.
It was shared that the new homes will be prefabricated, anti-seismic and more hurricane resistant. About 400 local laborers will be used wherever possible to re-invigorate the economy with 100 homes being donated by businesses.
Eight satellite phones have now been made available for communication with the outside world. The government has promised the people that a submarine cable will be built within ten years to allow for home broadband service. Improvements are also slated for the aqueduct and sewage systems.
Fixing of public services such as the single hospital, supermarkets and hardware stores will be given priority. 98 percent of the buildings on Providencia were destroyed. Next week the government has indicated they will be building a water treatment desalination plant to supply the community with clean water.
The second stage will be a 100-day plan in which the reconstruction will take place. This phase will have actions related to housing, aqueduct, sewerage and communications.
“In Providencia, we will focus on the construction of 1,200 new homes and we will carry out another 400 improvements to the structures that remained standing and are habitable. Together with the community, we will build a new island of Providencia where its inhabitants will once again have a decent and proper roof.”
Housing Minister Jonathan Malagón