Disaster relief centre funded by Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's Archewell Foundation has been completed

By Zach Harper

Disaster relief centre funded by Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's Archewell Foundation has been completed


Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's Archewell Foundation has funded a relief centre that's just been completed, which will help residents of the Caribbean island of Dominica who may be affected by natural disasters and severe weather in the future.

World Central Kitchen, which has partnered with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's non-profit organization to create centres in Dominica and Puerto Rico, took to Instagram to share photos of the facility on Feb. 24.

The non-governmental organization revealed the centre is located in a school that Dominica built as part of its plan to deal with future climate change and severe weather in the Caribbean. Its kitchen runs on solar power, which makes it not dependent on traditional electrical grids that might become affected in a hurricane or severe storm. World Central Kitchen also wants to train chefs working in the kitchen to ensure they are knowledgeable in emergency preparedness for future natural disasters that could hit the island.

The kitchen is one of four that World Central Kitchen, founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, will open with the help of the Archewell Foundation. In addition to the Dominica facility, another kitchen will open in Puerto Rico this year.

"The health of our communities depends on our ability to connect to our shared humanity," Harry and Meghan said in a statement last year, when the project was first revealed.

"When we think about Chef Andrés and his incredible team at World Central Kitchen, we're reminded that even during a year of unimaginable hardship, there are so many amazing people willing – and working tirelessly – to support each other.

"World Central Kitchen inspires us through compassion in action."

Many recent hurricanes have caused widespread destruction, loss of life and left countless numbers of people homeless in the Caribbean. This was the case with Hurricane Maria in 2017 – a year that had a particularly active hurricane season.

Prince Charles was shocked by the destruction Hurricane Maria left in Dominica when he visited the country in November 2017. Dominica was three countries affected by Maria that he visited that year. Photo: © Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Maria was the worst natural disaster in recorded history to hit the islands of Puerto Rico and Dominica, where both of the centres will open. The Caribbean was just beginning to recover from the effects of Hurricane Irma, which had swept through the region the same season. Maria was estimated to have caused more than US$91 billion worth of damages, and World Central Kitchen was very active in providing relief to Puerto Rico after the storm.

Last week, Harry and Meghan confirmed to the Queen they would not return as senior working members of the Royal Family. They will return their royal patronages and honorary military appointments as a result, but will retain their private patronages such as the Invictus Games Foundation and Smart Works. They are continuing to set up their Archewell Foundation, which has already started some great relief work this year.

Earlier this week, Genesis Women's Shelter & Support revealed the Archewell Foundation had paid for repairs to the Texas facility's roof. It was damaged in winter storm Uri and the record-breaking cold snap that hit the state earlier in February.

"In spite of the devastating winter storms here in Texas, our hearts have been warmed by the support and generosity of people from all 50 states and five foreign countries," Jan Langebin, Genesis' CEO, said in a statement.

"Today, we were notified that through the action of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's non-profit, Archewell Foundation, Prince Harry and Meghan will make a donation to help us get back on our feet.

"Not only will this gift provide for our critical needs, it shines an international spotlight on violence against women and children, letting survivors know that they are not alone."

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