UN supporting national relief efforts as Hurricane Irma threatens nearly 50 million people

United Nations agencies are supporting relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma, which has already wreaked havoc on Antigua and Barbuda and other Caribbean islands and is en route towards the United States.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Irma, a Category 5 storm, made landfall on northeast Caribbean islands during the early hours of 6 September, affecting Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, St Barthélemy, St. Martin, the US Virgin Islands and other islands in the eastern Caribbean Sea.

Irma was predicted to hit Puerto Rico before continuing to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Turks and Caicos and south-eastern Bahamas.

About 49 million people are directly in Hurricane Irma’s projected path, including more than 10.5 million children.

“The Secretary-General is saddened by the reports of immense destruction and loss of life in the Caribbean region since Hurricane Irma made landfall on Antigua and Barbuda on Wednesday,” said a statement issued today by his Spokesman.

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