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These were the words of praise used by the Mayor of Fontan, Mr Philippe Oudot, in recognition of the compassionate gesture made jointly by the Monaco Red cross and the Cuomo Foundation in response to Storm Alex, which recently badly affected the Alpine area.
Mrs Maria Elena Cuomo touring Fontan with the Mayor Mr Philippe Oudot – 2 December 2020 © photo 2020 Cuomo Foundation

The historical village of Fontan along with its neighbouring villages of La Brigue and Tende were all severely impacted by the damage caused when Storm Alex hit the Alpes-Maritimes on 2nd October,2020. In response the Monaco Red Cross initiated a humanitarian action co-ordinating and sourcing the correct types of off-road vehicles required and the Cuomo Foundation agreed to fund and donate 3 such vehicles to serve the three municipalities. On the 2nd December 2020 members of the Cuomo Foundation and the Monaco Red Cross drove the donated vehicles up to Fontan to personally deliver them.

On arrival in Fontan the Monaco delegation were given a guided tour of the village by the Mayor of Fontan Philippe Oudot ,in office since 2008.They were shown the true extent of the damage caused by the flash floods in October which destroyed or closed most access to the village of 352 inhabitants and its neighbouring region. The tour was followed by a reception held at the Fontan Town Hall where Mrs Maria Elena Cuomo, president of the Cuomo Foundation and Mrs Bettina Ragazzoni, treasurer of the Monaco Red Cross ceremoniously handed over the vehicle keys to all 3 Mayors of Fontan, La Brigue and Tende.

Mrs Maria Elena Cuomo and Mrs Bettina Ragazzoni during the handing over of the keys at the Fontan Town Hall – 2 December 2020 © photo 2020 Cuomo Foundation
The 3 off-road vehicles will be able to transport and deliver food and other essential provisions to the Alpine region which has been cut off from the rest of the country for the last 2 months. The work schedule of repair and restructure put in place is contributing to continued delays and limited times of reopening of the highways for travel, increasing the isolation. In addition, the railway links to Nice have been suspended due to the weakened rail lines damaged by the floods. Goods transported by rail currently have to terminate at Saint-Dalmas-de-Tende and continue their transportation by 4×4 vehicles via a trail entirely operational only in good climate conditions. The 3 new Cuomo Foundation funded off-road vehicles will certainly assist and help to alleviate the plight of the inhabitants of this affected region.

Supporting social assistance in the Principality


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