De Niro: Help rebuild Barbuda paradise destroyed by Irma

Two-time Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro came to the United Nations on Monday to appeal to all countries and organizations to help rebuild the devastated Caribbean island of Barbuda and ensure that “paradise is not lost.”

De Niro spoke at a hastily called meeting on Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane on record. The meeting of top U.N. officials and government leaders from several hard-hit Caribbean countries came ahead of the annual global gathering of the world’s leaders at the U.N. General Assembly which opens Tuesday.

Irma wreaked havoc in the Caribbean, including damaging or destroying an estimated 90 percent of the structures on the small island of Barbuda, which is home to about 1,400 people and the site of a resort co-owned by the actor.

De Niro recalled Barbuda as an “unspoiled beauty, a paradise found” on his first visit years ago. Now, he said, “we have a humanitarian crisis, an entire island destroyed.”

“We must act together to help the most vulnerable,” De Niro said. “The recovery process will be a long, hard road. Barbudans must be a part of it, their homes repaired stronger, rebuilt stronger, new homes stronger. The immediate needs — power, water, food, medical care, animals sheltered — must be met.”

De Niro and James Packer, son of the late Australian media mogul Kerry Packer, bought the K Club Resort last year and renamed it the Paradise Found Nobu Resort.

De Niro spoke of all the “warm and friendly” people he has gotten to know on Barbuda who were “looking forward to a new resort and jobs and future for them and their children.” He did not say how the hurricane affected the resort.

Two-time Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro came to the United Nations on Monday to appeal to all countries and organizations to help rebuild the devastated Caribbean island of Barbuda and ensure that “paradise is not lost.” …read more

Source: Life Style

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