Bahamas + 3 more

CARIBBEAN: Tropical Storm Noel Final Report Emergency appeal n° MDR49002

Situation Report
Originally published


Appeal target: CHF 1,750,541 (EUR 1,199,000 or USD 1,528,857) to assist 52,995 beneficiaries.

Final Appeal coverage: 100%;

Appeal history:

=B7 This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on a preliminary basis on 1 November 2007 for CHF 785,000 (USD 677,308 or EUR 469,217) for six months to assist 15,000 beneficiaries.

=B7 A total of CHF 480,000 (USD 414,150 or EUR 286,909) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support this operation (CHF 230,000 for the Dominican Republic, CHF 150,000 for Haiti and CHF 100,000 for the Bahamas).

The appeal was revised on 7 November 2007 to CHF 1,462,103 (USD 1,261,521 or EUR 873,941) for 6 months to assist 52,995 beneficiaries (10,599 families) in the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Included is an increase of an additional 2,000 families affected by tropical storm Olga in the Dominican Republic, which was made possible by bilateral contributions.

On 27 February 2008, an Operations Update no.2 featured a second revised budget, increasing the budget to CHF 1,725,000 (USD 1,543,586 or EUR 1,045,897).

The Operations Update n=B0 3 featured a Revised Appeal budget for CHF 1,750,541 (EUR 1,199,000 or USD 1,528,857) and the extension of the implementation timeframe for an additional ten months (until 28 February 2009) to scale up the response capacities of the Cuban Red Cross (CRC) and the Dominican Red Cross (DRC).

Summary: The countries of the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti were seriously affected by tropical storm Noel from 29 October to 2 November 2007. The National Societies of the affected countries in coordination with the International Federation's Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) worked together to assess the needs, damages, carry out the purchasing and distribution of relief items to those most affected by the floods and damages caused by tropical storm Noel.

A total of 76,674 families were affected by the storm; under this appeal a total of 8,929 families received emergency relief items, including hygiene kits, kitchen kits, mosquito nets and tarpaulins, as well as additional support including food parcels, jerry cans and blankets. In emergency health, 959 people received medical care and 14,124 families received clean drinking water. In total, approximately 23,245 families in the four affected countries received humanitarian assistance. Moreover, the Cuban Red Cross and the Dominican Red Cross have increased their capacities through the purchase of equipment and pre-positioning of relief-items. These actions will enable the National Societies to be better prepared for the upcoming hurricane season 2009.

The International Federation would like to thank Partner National Societies and national governments for their generous contributions to this Emergency Appeal, including the American Red Cross (and the United States government), the Canadian Red Cross (and the Canadian government), the Finnish Red Cross, the Japanese Red Cross Society, the Italian government, the Luxemburg government, the Netherlands Red Cross, the Singapore Red Cross (from Singapore government), the Swedish Red Cross (from the Swedish government), and the Swiss Red Cross (from the Swiss government).

Lessons learnt:

=B7 The response efforts to Tropical Storm Noel, and subsequently to Tropical Storm Olga, demonstrated the importance of preparedness and pre-positioning of resources and equipment for timely and adequate response.

=B7 In Haiti, which was severely hit during the hurricane season in 2006, the pre-positioning of resources (response teams and kits) largely helped to reach the most affected people rapidly. It also increased the visibility and positioning of the National Society.

=B7 In Cuba, the knowledge of the National Society about the country, context and capacities helped to ensure a detailed damage and needs assessment.

=B7 Thanks to the coordination between the Cuban Red Cross and the International Federation, increased knowledge of Cuban government standards and mechanisms was gained, which has been valuable during other operations carried out on the island. During the hurricane season in 2008, the Red Cross was able to dispatch a 'plane to Cuba within the first three days of the onset of the emergency. Hence, response efforts were carried out more rapidly thanks to the previous coordination that took place within this operation.

=B7 In the Dominican Republic preparedness and risk reduction programmes previously carried out in the country proved particularly valuable. For instance, in the north-east zone of the country a DIPECHO project carried out by the Dominican Red Cross with support from the Spanish Red Cross, increased community preparedness, which was successfully seen during the passage of Tropical Storm Noel as casualties were reduced to a minimum.

=B7 In the Dominican Republic, the preparation and coordination of the National Society in the area of water and sanitation was significant and assisted in reaching a higher number of beneficiaries than initially planned.

=B7 Increased integrated response efforts during the emergency phase should be a priority for future operations, encompassing all key areas including health, disaster management, water and sanitation, capacity-building, and other areas.

=B7 The overall operation strengthened the existing response mechanisms and capacities of each National Society.

Following implementation of the Hurricane Noël response operation, there is a remaining balance of 23,586 Swiss francs. It is proposed to transfer this balance to the 2010-2011 Plan of the Latin Caribbean Regional Representation to support the Cuban Red Cross.