Revision and Supplement to the Dominican Republic Tropical Storm Noel and Olga Flash Appeal 2007

26 December 2007

Within the space of two months, the Dominican Republic has been hit by two intense tropical storms, which have brought heavy rains and flooding, and severely damaged economic and social infrastructure in the country.  Tropical Storm Olga has followed hard on the heels of Tropical Storm Noel, which hit the Dominican Republic at the end of October.  The heavy rains brought by Olga again caused damage similar to that caused by Noel, particularly in the central and northern parts of the country, with major rivers bursting their banks, flash floods in vulnerable gullies, landslides, and flooding of low lying areas.  For the most part the areas affected are different from those affected by Noel, and include the country’s second city of Santiago, which suffered from extensive flooding as the River Yaque, which runs through the town, burst its banks.

This new storm has brought new hardship, and disrupted the relief and recovery efforts for Noel.  The two storms have killed over 160 people, and more than 130,000 people have now been directly affected, mostly through displacement caused by flooding and loss of shelter.  Some 3,500 homes and shelters have been damaged, and another 25,000 have sustained damage as a result of the storms.  Extensive areas of cropland have also been destroyed.  This is expected to hit livelihoods especially hard, as many of the crops lost were for the export market.

The Government has again played an integral role in responding to the disaster, and in coordinating the relief effort.  Effective early warning and evacuation of people from vulnerable areas prevented the human toll from being much higher, and the national and provincial emergency operations committees have functioned effectively in terms of providing regular reports and coordinating search and rescue operations.  The army has also been mobilised to help in clean-up operations.  The Government declared a state of emergency for the Santiago area where the Ministry of Health has declared a health emergency and established a major additional field presence to provide health care and prevent the spread of disease.

The United Nations coordination and response structures established for Noel have been maintained and rapid assessment actions undertaken in the affected areas, including to the most affected areas on 13-14 December.  At a meeting with the national authorities on 14 December, the United Nations system was requested to continue with the humanitarian and recovery actionsthey were undertaking for the victims of Tropical Storm Noel but to also try to integrate the new needs created by Olga.  It sees the new response as a continuum of the ongoing one; however, it appears that the damage and needs created by Olga are likely to be much greater than was being envisaged at that point. 

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 Noel damaged or destroyed 80% of the harvest in the most adversely affected areas, communities still 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, this revision to the 11 November 2007 Flash Appeal requires$12,537,552.[1] This includes $4,108,600of new requirements caused by the impact of Tropical Storm Olga. The Country Team is submitting a funding request for selected projects in this appeal to the Central Emergency Response Fund’srapid 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 operation.  The Appeal’s original six month timeline still holds.


[1]All dollar figures in this document are United States dollars.  Funding for this appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS), fts@reliefweb.int), which will display requirements and current funding information on the CAP 2007 web page.

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

Document History

26 December 2007

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