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Agreement allows Cuban storm survivors to get Baptist relief


HAVANA, Cuba (BP) Southern Baptists will send two containers of relief supplies to Cuba to help victims of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike rebuild their homes and lives.

An agreement negotiated with the U.S. and Cuban governments will allow a container of building supplies and food to be sent to both of the Baptist conventions eastern and western on the island nation 90 miles off the Florida Keys, according to Jim Brown, U.S. director for Baptist Global Response, a Southern Baptist international relief and development organization.

Assessment teams of representatives of the International Mission Board, Florida Baptist Convention, and BGR toured opposite ends of Cuba, evaluating needs and discussing possible responses with Cuban government officials. Hurricane Gustav wreaked havoc on western Cuba; Hurricane Ike ravaged the eastern end of the island. Estimates of the damage range as high as $5 billion, according to news reports.

The assessment teams arrived in Havana Sept. 16 and met with the Cuban Office of Religious Affairs the following day.