14ymedio, Havana, 1 August 2023 — The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) donated the necessary materials for the rehabilitation of 20 poultry houses in Pinar del Río, whose completion is scheduled for the end of August. The initiative seeks to alleviate the situation of more than 2,000 victims, who were left without “livelihoods” after the scourge of Hurricane Ian in the province, almost a year ago.
In a statement published on Monday, the organization said that the project had the financial support of the Government of Belgium for the purchase of 24 coils of steel wire and their respective hooks. With these inputs, 24,455 metal tiles were manufactured, which were delivered to the Pinar del Río Poultry Company to rebuild eight base business units (UEB) in the municipalities of Pinar del Río, Viñales, Consolación del Sur and Guanes.
The FAO confirmed, together with delegates from the Ministry of Agriculture, that the donation has already benefited 33 workers of the Desa I Unit — of which 17 are women — with the delivery of 7,000 square meters of tiles and 11,041 metal hooks.
The company has nine warehouses for the potential breeding of 140,000 birds, although the FAO pointed out that only four are in the process of rehabilitation and did not clarify whether, in addition, it will provide the animals.
The project is part of the United Nations program in Cuba for the rehabilitation of production for the farmers affected by Hurricane Ian. At the national level, the program added in its statement that it helps about one million people in vulnerable conditions, including children under five years of age and pregnant and lactating women.
Hurricane Ian, which reached western Cuba in September 2022, devastated much of the Pinar del Río territory, with winds that exceeded 120 miles per hour. In its wake, it left considerable economic losses in infrastructure and agricultural production that, to date, as recognized by the Government, have not been recovered. The damage was particularly significant with regard to tobacco, whose harvest suffered “the biggest blow in its history,” according to the official press.
Recently, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz acknowledged that the Cuban Government has not been able to recover a third of the housing infrastructure damaged by the hurricane, despite the fact that it’s been almost a year since its passage through the Island. In a meeting with provincial authorities, the official questioned the feeble results “if the resources are in place.”
The official press also reported that in Pinar del Río, only 32% of the 90,394 buildings affected by the climate emergency have been rehabilitated. In Granma province, meanwhile, 103 of the 415 that were damaged have been rebuilt.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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