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€61,263 for reconstruction of houses, schools and hospitals in Cuba

Issued on May 13, 2009 at 09:49 AM

Cuban Ambassador and Mick Dowling  - The Cuban Ambassador Noel Carillo receives the funding from the Vice Chair of the Global Solidarity Committee Mick Dowling
The Cuban Ambassador Noel Carillo receives the funding from the Vice Chair of the Global Solidarity Committee Mick Dowling

The four hurricanes that hit Cuba in just three weeks last autumn are the worst natural disasters for this island nation since 1963. Therefore the Executive Council of Congress decided last October to start an All Ireland Trade Union Campaign to support the Cuban people's efforts to rebuild their country. We succeeded to collect €61,263. Contributions came from SIPTU €38,270, CWU €10,000, UNITE €5,143 and 12 other unions.

Half a million houses were destroyed by the hurricanes. Major factories, schools, telecommunications, hospitals, government buildings and farms were severely damaged. The agriculture sector was also severely hit, as much as 70% of last year's food production was lost.

ICTU decided to concentrate the resources to help one of the worst hit regions, Pinar Del Rio. All collected monies were transferred to the relief and reconstruction fund used for that region.

The Cuban Ambassador Mr. Noel Carillo met with ICTU Global Solidarity Committee on the 4th of March in Dublin. He expressed gratitude on behalf of the people in Pinar del Rio and said that the support from the Irish trade union movement has been very important and encouraging.