Port au Prince, Haiti, August 18, 2007- Hurricane Dean is set to arrive in the Dominican Republic and Haiti this afternoon after 12:00 p.m. local time. International aid agency World Vision expects high winds of about 200 kph, strong rain, landslides and flooding throughout the south coast of Hispaniola.
"We're bracing for a possible impact that could be devastating," said Francois de la Roche, World Vision's emergency response director in Latin America and the Caribbean. "These countries are especially vulnerable because they are already struggling with chronic poverty."
The southern provinces of Barahona and Pedernales will be the most affected areas in the Dominican Republic. World Vision has activated their Local Rapid Response Team to take action where the need is greatest.
Regional staff have distributed informative materials and alerted their communities. Food, clean water, medicines and emergency generators have been pre-positioned in the south provinces where authorities have issued hurricane alerts.
World Vision has long-term programs in Haiti and the Dominican Republic; areas susceptible to flooding and landslides.
Part of World Vision's efforts include assessing needs, identifying possible shelters, producing an inventory of supplies and taking measures to protect the organization's national office. A team composed of personnel specializing in emergencies, health, infrastructure, communications and water and sanitation have also been mobilized and are preparing to respond.
World Vision has been working on the island of Hispaniola since 1978, founding programs in housing construction, water purification and sanitation, as well as opening a library and cultural center. Donors in the United States sponsor 50,000 children in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
World Vision relief staff in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are available for interviews in English and Spanish. Please contact Brian Peterson at 407.445.6484 / 407.620.0404 or email@example.com or Casey Calamusa at 206.310.5476 / 253.815.2377, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visitwww.worldvision.org/press.