Netherlands fundraiser for hurricane hit Sint Maarten tops €4 million

Sint Maarten residents stand in line for drinking water, 12 Sept 2017
Sint Maarten residents stand in line for drinking water, 12 Sept 2017Photo: @C_ZMCARIB / Twitter

The Red Cross' fundraiser to help the people of Sint Maarten after the devastating Hurricane Irma, Giro 5125, raised over 4.3 million euros so far. And the donations keep coming in, the Red Cross announced on Thursday, RTL Nieuws reports.

The donated money is being used to provide basic necessities to the some 40 thousand inhabitants of the island. On Wednesday the Red Cross, under the supervision of the police and Dutch soldiers, handed out food and water in Cay Bay, one of the neighborhoods on Sint Maarten that was most affected by the hurricane. 

In addition to the basic necessities, Sint Maarten also needs more shelter and materials to repair damaged homes. According to the Red Cross, 91 percent of the homes on the island were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma. Earlier this week deputy minister of the Sint Maarten, Henrietta Doran-York, said she hopes the island can recover within two years. Sint Maarten's Prime Minister William Marlin thinks that rebuilding the island will cost at least a billion euros.

The devastation on Sint Maarten is huge and much help is needed, Gijs de Vries, general director of the Red Cross in the Netherlands, said to the broadcaster. "Many people lost everything and are sleeping in their own gardens in the outdoors."

On Friday the Red Cross and Dutch broadcasters RTL, NPO and SBS are holding a national fundraising action day for the island. The action will be broadcast from the action center in the Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum. The goal for the action day is to inform people in the Netherlands about the situation on Sint Maarten, and to raise as much money as possible for the victims through Giro 5125.