Nearly $14 million needed to aid flood victims in Dominican Republic – UN

Nearly $14 million needed to aid flood victims in Dominican Republic – UN

The United Nations and the Government of the Dominican Republic today appealed for almost $14 million to aid those affected by Tropical Storm Noel and the ensuing floods which affected 80 per cent of the Central American nation’s territory.

The United Nations and the Government of the Dominican Republic today appealed for almost $14 million to aid those affected by Tropical Storm Noel and the ensuing floods which affected 80 per cent of the Central American nation’s territory.

A state of emergency was declared on 31 October, two days after Noel hit the Dominican Republic, causing major flooding, landslides and the destruction of infrastructure.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that 85 people are confirmed dead and at least 48 are still missing. As many as 28 out of the 32 provinces, including the capital region, have been affected.

Of the more than 66,600 people who were displaced, over 23,000 are in official temporary shelters, while the remainder are staying with relatives or friends. Almost 16,700 homes have been partially destroyed and 46 bridges and highways have been affected.

“I hope donors will respond with generous humanitarian aid to help the survivors of this devastating storm, which has affected such a broad swathe of the country and its population,” said UN Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes.

“As the longer-term economic impact is also bound to be grave, their assistance will prove crucial in the recovery effort that follows,” he added.

Priority needs include water and basic sanitation, especially hygiene, as well as food aid and assistance in restoring livelihoods. In addition, assistance in other areas, including housing and shelter, health, agriculture, protection, and education, is also needed.

A portion of the requested amount will be met by a grant from the UN’s own Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which was set up to close the resource gap that can hamper emergency relief efforts in their early stages.

Meanwhile, OCHA is sending a Disaster Assessment and Coordination team to the Mexican state of Tabasco, roughly 80 per cent of which was under water in recent days.

Authorities there said that 350,000 people are trapped in their homes and estimate that flooding has affected half the state’s 2.1 million residents and inundated about 700,000 homes. Electricity is out for 90 per cent of the residents of the capital, Villahermosa.

In addition, crops have been destroyed, livestock have been killed and most of the state’s businesses have been affected. Rains have also caused landslides that damaged the road network.

The flooding in Mexico is the worst in more than 50 years, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which estimates that some one third of those affected are children.

The agency has appealed for $3.26 million to respond to the immediate needs of children, adolescents and women affected by flooding in Mexico, as well as in Central America and the Caribbean.