At least 3 million children at risk as Hurricane Beryl hits the Caribbean

UNICEF and partners have pre-positioned life-saving supplies and stand ready to provide services to children and families in several countries

03 July 2024
Naomi Noel (in blue) just returned to their damaged home with her mother, two children and neice on July 1 2024
The first major hurricane of the year, Hurricane Beryl, made landfall in the southeast Caribbean on Monday, 1 July 2024, causing widespread damage. Naomi Noel (in blue) returned to her damaged home in Grenada that evening with her mother, two children and niece. The family now have to navigate how to spend the night with no roof over their heads.

PANAMA CITY, 3 July 2024 – The first major hurricane of the year, Hurricane Beryl, made landfall in the southeast Caribbean on Monday, 1 July, causing widespread damage.  The winds, torrential rains and flash flooding could put at least 3 million children in the Caribbean at risk, according to UNICEF estimates.

Hurricane Beryl tore through Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Saint Lucia, bringing high winds, storm surges and heavy rain that has damaged safe spaces for children, including homes and schools.

“As Hurricane Beryl continues its path through the Caribbean Sea, all efforts must be made to prevent loss of life and keep children safe,” said Karin Hulshof, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Our teams across the Caribbean are ready to support national efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to families in need.”

While extreme weather events put the lives of the most vulnerable children and families at risk, UNICEF supports emergency preparedness efforts throughout the region. 

“Investing in national capacities to prepare for and respond to climate-related emergencies and provide essential services for children is critical,” added Karin Hulshof.

UNICEF and partners have pre-positioned life-saving supplies in several countries in the Caribbean Basin, including medical kits, educational kits, essential water supplies, sanitation and hygiene materials (such as water tanks, large bottles and water purification tablets), and key equipment such as high-quality tents, which will be deployed as needed.

Latin America and the Caribbean is the second most disaster-prone region in the world. In the Caribbean, 1.9 million people, including half a million children and adolescents, are affected by disasters each year.  Small Island and Developing States in the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable to climate shocks due to their small size and extreme exposure to natural hazards, and the effects of climate change.

This year, UNICEF has requested US$12.4 million to prepare for, and respond to, emergencies in Latin America and the Caribbean, including in countries in the Caribbean Basin.


Media contacts

Tess Ingram
Tel: +1 934 867 7867
Sendai Carolina Zea
UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel: +507 6821 0843

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