Disaster Response team deploys to assess wildlife and community needs in Irma aftermath

Disaster Response team deploys to assess wildlife and community needs in Irma af
Thursday, 14 September, 2017
Washington, DC

After the island of Barbuda was left almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Irma’s winds and rain, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) sent their team of disaster response experts to the island nation as recovery efforts begin to pull the community back together. 

Barbuda’s 1,600 inhabitants were evacuated to safety on the neighboring island of Antigua. Pets, however, were not allowed on transport boats and had to be left behind. Wildlife was also left to fend for itself as the storm approached. In the days following Irma’s landfall, surveys were made to assess the extent of destruction. Nearly every one of the island’s homes collapsed in the storm.

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda, Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs and Barbuda Council, extended an invitation for IFAW’s disaster responders to provide relief and rehabilitation to livestock and companion animals on the island of Barbuda, and to support the Department of Environment in the Ministry of Health and the Environment to assess the impact of the natural disaster on ecosystems.

“Hurricane after hurricane have been pummeling islands in the Caribbean, and it breaks my heart to know that so many people and their animals have been left without shelter. Our disaster responders have mobilized from around the world to help these communities and their animals during this crisis,” said Shannon Walajtys IFAW Disaster Response Manager. “We feel privileged to have received a request for assistance from the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, and will do all we can to help.”

Over the next few weeks, IFAW will provide assessments and recommendations for the island as recovery efforts begin.

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on social @action4ifaw and Facebook/IFAW.

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