After leaving the still-fragile Haiti vulnerable to food insecurity and cholera outbreaks, post-tropical storm Sandy damaged infrastructure and claimed the lives of at least 56 people in in the U.S. East Coast.
The United Nations and World Vision were among those affected by the storm. The global body’s complex in New York was flooded, and some of the buildings there sustained “extensive water damage,” U.N. officials and diplomats told Reuters. The headquarters had to be closed for three days, and is scheduled to be re-opened Nov. 1.
World Vision’s warehouse in Bronx was flooded as well, destroying up to one-third of food and hygiene kits stocked there. None of the prepositioned emergency supplies were affected. In a statement, the organization said the incident “won’t deter response” and that it is looking for an alternative base for its relief operations.
The mounting toll the storm has had on the United States has drawn aid offers from all over the world, including from the Iran Red Crescent Organization. According to the New York Times, rescuers from Iran are on standby and ready to fly to the United States, “assuming the American government accepts the offer.”
A continuous flow of contributions are being channeled to the American Red Cross, which has garnered more than $11 million in donations. The United Airlines Foundation, CVS Caremark, Citi Foundation, FedEx, Mercedes-Benz and the Philippines are among those that have pledged support.
“While it is too early to put a cost on Hurricane Sandy,” U.N. Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction Margareta Wahlström said, “there is no doubt that it will contribute significantly to the upward trend in economic losses.” Over the past 20 years, losses from disasters have climbed to a minimum $1.3 trillion, Wahlström added.
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