Hurricane Irma, the fiercest storm ever recorded over the Atlantic, ripped through the Caribbean on Wednesday, September 6. The islands of St. Martin and St. Barthélemy suffered enormously. At least 10 people died and around 20 people were injured, and 95% of the territory was destroyed.
Natixis was profoundly moved by this catastrophe and wished to lend its support to the victims of Hurricane Irma by donating money to Fondation de France.
What will Fondation de France do?
There are 3 aspects to the initiative:
- Provide immediate aid for non-addressed needs.
A team from Fondation de France is in the field to assess the immediate needs, in addition to short- to medium-term requirements. It is acting with local associations to provide support for the most vulnerable disaster victims. In permanent contact with the crisis-management units of the French president and French prime minister, Fondation de France was appointed to coordinate the collection of private donations and to take care of complementary aspects with the government authorities.
- Support a victim information and help area.
The prime objective of the Fondation de France team is to create an information and help area in conjunction with local associations and municipalities.
This support platform will serve as a victim reception area from which teams can coordinate different actions – from legal counsel to social and psychological support – and assess immediate and medium-term requirements such as resettlement or rebuilding, job loss and destruction of work tools and equipment.
- After emergency comes reconstruction.
After the initial emergency disaster-relief phase, Fondation de France’s intervention will help the most vulnerable people return to a normal life. It will focus on association initiatives to help families rebuild their lives – obtain housing and basic household items, and return to work – and enable the community to rebuild their social, associative and educational ties. It will also support small craftsmen and farmers whose production tools were destroyed so that they can get back to work. These actions will also offset the steep loss in revenues from reduced tourist activity and the ensuing loss of employment in the tourism sector. Last are the considerable psychological consequences and trauma suffered by these people who have experienced days of complete chaos following Irma’s path of destruction. Long-term psychological counselling will be needed for everyone so they can rebuild their lives.