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The Caribbean and Mexico: Hurricane Dean Appeal No. MDR49001 Final report

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GLIDE n=B0 TC-2007-000135

Period covered by this Final Report: 14 December 2007 to 30 June 2008;

Appeal target (current): CHF 2,927,000 (USD 2,685,321 or EUR 1,876,282).

Final Appeal coverage: 99%

Appeal history:

- A Preliminary Appeal was launched on 22 August 2007 for CHF 1,591,000 (USD 1,321,429 or EUR 964,942) for 6 months to assist 35,000 beneficiaries (7,000 families).

- The appeal was revised on 30 August 2007 to CHF 2,399,670 (USD 2,049,249 or EUR 1,445,584) for 9 months to assist 108,550 beneficiaries (21,710 families).

- A Revised Appeal with revised budget for CHF 2,927,000 was launched on 21 April

- The Operation was extended until June 30, 2008; a final report is therefore due on 30 September, 2008.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 150,000 (USD 124,585 or EUR 90,909).

The remaining funds of this operation will be allocated towards Disaster Management activities undertaken in 2007.

Summary: This Final Report consolidates information gathered from the inception of this operation on 22 August 2007 to 31 May 2008. With the completion of the relief phase of the Dean response, the main focus of this reporting period was working with the five National Societies to develop a recovery work plan which was aligned with four objectives of the appeal: (1) Relief; (2) Early Recovery; (3) Health and (4) Capacity Building, and to commence implementation of the planned activities. A consultant was hired from the American Red Cross, to do a review of the remaining needs in close collaboration with the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU), the Regional Logistics Unit (RLU), the Americas health team and the regional representations in Trinidad and Panama.

The most impacted communities were in need of relief supplies, telecommunication equipment and Tropical Mobile Storage Units (TMSU), as well as emergency container retrofitting and the construction and retrofitting of houses. Therefore, mechanisms were put into place for completion of these activities by the end of the operational period. A calendar of training activities was developed and training commenced for psychosocial support, using the "Helping to Heal" methodology, volunteer management, Water and Sanitation, emergency relief supply management and Telecommunication Regional Intervention Team members (RIT). Other health education messages on safe water practices and environmental hygiene were also printed and have been distributed with complementary community based activities.

At the conclusion of the entire operation an evaluation was done to highlight the coordination of the International Federation with National Societies and other partners in an ambit to better harmonize the response to disasters.

The situation

Hurricane Dean was the first hurricane of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season. It affected the countries of Belize, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico and Saint Lucia. There were approximately 77,918 families affected by the strong winds, massive floods and landslides. Dean entered the Caribbean through the Saint Lucia Channel (between St. Lucia and Martinique) on August 17, while still a category two hurricane. The storm damaged houses and buildings throughout the island chain and devastated the agriculture economies of Dominica, Martinique and St. Lucia. Although the toll in terms of loss of life was limited, there was a considerable impact on livelihoods on the islands' fragile economies.

The island of Dominica was not directly affected by Dean, but its high gusty winds and torrential rains causes severe damage to agriculture, housing and infrastructure. The agricultural sector suffered a loss of almost 70 percent of damages (Source: Food and Agricultural Organization). The Office of Disaster Management in Dominica reported that 771 houses were damaged, while 43 houses were completely destroyed as well as significant damage to infrastructure, roads and bridges as a result of landslides, fallen trees and mass debris.

Dean did not directly hit Haiti, but it brought heavy squalls and wind gusts causing damage in the country mostly in the coastal areas of Sud, Sud-est, Grande Anse, Nippes and Ouest. There were 1,858 affected families, 73 houses completely destroyed and 33 houses lost their roofs.

In Jamaica, the devastating winds caused by Dean left 3,272 houses destroyed, 16,650 houses with major damages and 18,053 houses with minor damages. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and other members of the National Disaster Committee, which includes the Red Cross, assisted the people affected. ODPEM reported that due to the hurricane 160,000 people were affected and four people died.

On 21 August, Dean hit Belize, affecting 2,500 families in the district of Corozal and Orange Walk and the islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. At least 400 homes were completely destroyed, while another 1,500 houses lost their roofs or received serious damages. Livelihoods were greatly affected as a result of the storm; in particular the yields of cash crops (papaya and sugar cane plantations) were affected. Some 35,000 acres of sugar cane alone have been rendered unfit for harvesting, with subsistence farmers facing extensive loss of their crops.

The next day, 22 August, Dean made landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as a strong category five storm. Homes were severely damaged and tens of thousands of people including tourist had to take refuge in shelters on the Yucatan Peninsula. The hurricane caused flooding and landslides across Central Mexico as it passed over the Sierra Madre Oriental range. 207,800 people were affected in the states of Quintana Roo, Campeche, Veracruz, Hidalgo, Puebla and Tabasco. Five deaths were recorded in Puebla and at least 50,000 homes were damages and many crops destroyed.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

Belize

When hurricane Dean hit Belize, three Belize Red Cross Society (BRCS) teams, along with a Disaster Management delegate from the Pan American Disaster Relief Unit (PADRU), conducted an assessment needs analysis in the northern districts along with branch volunteers. Based on these assessments, the most affected persons (predominantly the most economically vulnerable) were in dire need of food, portable water, hygiene kits, buckets, tarpaulins and blankets. Thanks to the support of the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), through the Norwegian Red Cross, BRCS supported 400 families in the Corozal District and 100 families in the Orange Walk District.