While we’re busy in New York dealing with the aftermath Sandy, others beyond our shores have also been devastated by the storm—most notably, Cuba. The United Nations’ World Food Program will be sending a month’s worth of food supplies for the nearly 500,000 people living in the city of Santiago and its outskirts.
According to WFP emergency coordinator William Vigil, “Tens of thousands of hectares of staple crops have been affected.” This includes livestock facilities, essentially covering the entire agricultural sector. Officials have deemed Sandy the worst storm to have hit Cuba in a half century.
As with the reports of the aftermath in NYC and NJ, food has become an important lens through which both damage and everyday recovery can be measured. The Associated Press article noted in Santiago, “Famed Coppelia ice creamery, a popular spot to grab a cool treat in the steamy Caribbean city, reopened for business in a symbolic sign of a gradual return to normal.”