On Tuesday, October 11, the government of Japan decided to support Cuba’s recovery efforts after Hurricane Ian hit the island in late September by sending emergency aid through its cooperation organization, JICA.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying, “Considering the humanitarian perspective and the close ties between Japan and Cuba, Japan has decided to give emergency aid to Cuba to support the victims affected by the disaster.”
According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the shipment from Japan is expected to include cable reels, adapters, water purifiers and water tanks.
Various forms of aid have recently arrived in Cuba from Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina, as well as from the World Health Organization (WHO) and its regional office in the Americas.
The European Union (EU) has announced that it will provide storm victims in Cuba with a donation of one million euros.
On September 27, Hurricane Ian passed through the province of Pinar del Río from south to north, dumping torrential rains and winds that could reach 205 km/h (65 mph). It also affected the western territories of Artemisa, Havana, Mayabeque and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud.
Five people died and the island suffered a general blackout as a result of the first hurricane of the current hurricane season to make landfall in Cuba.
Authorities are still assessing the extent of damage to housing, communications, water supply and electricity.
According to statistics provided by the Cuban government, as of October 5, the hurricane had left 3 dead, 7,000 people displaced and almost 500,000 people affected in some way.
This is not the first occasion in which Japan has helped Cuba in the aftermath of a cyclone.
In October 2016, the Japanese government sent a shipment to eastern Cuba to repair damage caused by Hurricane Matthew.
The then Japanese ambassador to Cuba, Masaru Watanabe, expressed his solidarity with the Cuban people and stressed that both Cuba and Japan are two nations that frequently suffer the passage of extreme natural phenomena, such as hurricanes.