Dominican Republic/Haiti Floods: CWS/ERP Situation Report 1 Jun 2004
The death toll in Haiti now stands at 1,068, according to the Agence France-Presse, while at least 410 people have died in the Dominican Republic.
Numbers are expected to increase as an estimated 1,500 persons remain missing in the area of Mapou, Haiti, Action by Churches Together (ACT) International reported, which also noted that health problems related to buried livestock and bodies is one of the major concerns in the affected areas.
Social Service of Dominican Churches (SSID), a long-time Church World Service partner which last week began an assessment in affected areas, confirmed that large-scale aid operations so far have been plagued by problems that include difficulty in accessing water-logged regions
"It rained in 20 hours what should rain in six months," said Martin Coria, CWS staff, who is in the Dominican Republic this week and has worked with SSID on needs and possible responses.
RESPONSE: At the request of Church World Service partners in Haiti -- Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Service Chrétien d'Haiti (SCH) -- CWS has approved the reallocation of the food shipment to flood survivors that had originally been intended for use in response to Haiti's recent social and political unrest. Also being reallocated are portions of another food shipment to SSID that have now been used for the emergency flood response in the Dominican Republic.
Blankets and medicines will be of particular importance, said CWS International Liaison Don Tatlock, who will be returning to Haiti Tuesday (June 2) to work with local partners in both countries to help coordinate the CWS response. Church World Service expects to play a role in long-term recovery efforts that might include housing reconstruction in the Dominican Republic.
Martin Coria reports that other areas aside from the widely-reported problems in Jimani, DR, were also affected and that "other areas need attention, too." It is likely, he said, that SSID will focus efforts on assistance needed after the initial emergency and might include "filling in the gaps" of housing reconstruction programs.
"The need for new houses may be less than originally expected because entire families have disappeared," Coria said. "In other cases, only one child survived."
Other possible responses with CWS support:
- Psychosocial recovery and care for caregivers.
- SSID regional staff continues conducting an initial assessment of damages and losses in the 85 communities where it works.
- SSID will prepare a multi-year food security proposal targeting families whose food security situation was severely affected by the disaster.
Contributions to support this emergency appeal may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN, 46515. Please designate: #6743 - Haiti/Dominican Republic Floods.
For further information about disasters to which Church World Service is responding -- or to make a credit card contribution -- please visit the Church World Service Website at www.churchworldservice.org or phone (800) 297-1516.
CWS Emergency Response Program special
contacts: (212) 870-3151;
CWS / ERP web site: www.cwserp.org