Dominican Republic Tropical Storm Noel Flash Appeal 2007

6 November 2007

The heavy and prolonged rainfall provoked by Tropical Storm Noel resulted in rivers overflowing their banks, causing major flooding, landslides and the destruction of bridges throughout the Dominican Republic.  More than 137 communities remain inaccessible.  84 persons have been killed, 48 are missing and 3,436 persons have been rescued.  Approximately 16,712 homes have been partially destroyed and 35 bridges and highways affected.  Overall, approximately 65,000 persons have been displaced out of whom 23,336 are in official temporary shelter.  The remaining 67% are staying with relatives or friends.  26 out of the 32 provinces and the capital province have been affected, especially in the South West and Centre, encompassing large tracts of the entire country.  It is estimated that over 80% of the country’s territory has been affected by the storm and ensuing floods (although the impact varies widely).  The figure of affected people can not be limited to the 65,000 displaced persons, but amounts to a much larger population affected by floods.

President Leonel Fernández declared a state of national emergency on Wednesday, 31 October.  The United Nations System is working in a coordinated manner with the national authorities, NGOs and other organisations present in the country to promote coherence in information and coordination of activities.  The international community has mobilised technical teams and assistance in both cash and kind to meet the most urgent needs.  The total contributions in cash reported to date amount to approximately US$[1] 7.2 million.

The first concern remains access, as 137 communities remain inaccessible.  As the weather is slowly improving, it can be expected that the flood levels will eventually recede.  However, the primary effects of flooding will remain, such as the impact on infrastructure (particularly bridges), housing and farmland.  The impact of secondary effects will probably grow, mainly on health and nutrition, unless efficiently and effectively addressed in the first weeks of the crisis.  Access to drinking water is particularly poor in all affected zones and the shelters. 

Priority needs include safe water and basic sanitation, especially hygiene.  Access to potable water is particularly poor and has a severe impact upon nutrition and health.  Due to lack of access to communities there is an immediate need for food aid and distribution.  As 80% of the harvest has been damaged or destroyed in the most adversely affected areas; communities also require urgent assistance in the restoration of livelihoods to ensure food security in the short and medium-term across the country.

In close coordination with the Government of the Dominican Republic, official sources, the United Nations System, the United Nations Disaster, Assessment and Coordination Team, participating non-governmental organisations and other United Nations partners, the Flash Appeal requires $13,985,200 for six months of emergency actions - equivalent to $215 per displaced person (and considerably less if the other affected people are counted). The Country Team is submitting a funding request for selected projects in this appeal to the Central Emergency Response Fund’s rapid response window [2].The funding requests in this appeal are additional to any in-kind logistical contributions (air support, trucks, etc) that may be put at the disposal of the United Nations operations.  

[1]All dollar signs in ths document denote United States dollars.

[2]The Financial Tracking Service (FTS, will show any CERF allocations to projects in this appeal as soon as they are approved by the Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Document History

6 November 2007

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