Jamaica Floods: DREF Bulletin No. MDRJM001

Situation Report
Originally published

The Federation’s mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 185 countries.

In Brief

- This DREF Bulletin is being issued based on the situation described below reflecting the information available at this time.

- CHF 25,000 (USD 20,757 or EUR 15,723) was allocated from the Federation’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to respond to the needs in this operation.

- This operation is expected to be implemented over 2 months, and will be completed by 28 January 2006; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 28 April 2006). Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

This operation is aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Background and current situation

For five days - between 22 and 26 October, 2006 - large areas of Jamaica were subjected to excessive rainfall as a result of an upper level trough and cold front in the vicinity of the island. The north-eastern parishes of St Ann, St Mary, and Portland have been mainly affected by this weather system. The entire town of Port Maria in St Mary- a town which is below sea level - was under water, leaving its citizens marooned in business places and homes, making it impossible for even essential services such as the police to respond to the needs of the population.

The death of one woman was reported in Portland when her home was destroyed by a landslide. Several main roads were blocked and had sustained structural damage due to the unusually heavy levels of water flowing across and under them. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPEM) reported that over 1,000 families (approximately 5,000 persons) were housed in shelters on 24 November.

The Jamaica meteorological service lifted the flash flood warning for the areas affected on Sunday 26 November, after the waters had subsided.

Red Cross action

Assessments carried out by the St Mary and Portland Branches of the Jamaica Red Cross (JRC) revealed that just over 600 families (approximately 3,000 persons) have been displaced after sustaining loss of homes, livestock and household effects due to water damage. The primary needs were therefore determined to be mattresses, blankets, water, food, clothing and tarpaulins.

The Jamaica Red Cross provided initial response by dispatching 30 mattresses, 100 blankets and ten tarpaulins to displaced persons in Port Maria, St Mary. This response is however insufficient to meet current emergency needs. Therefore the JRC has started procurement procedures of food and water from its virtual warehouse for the preparation of food packages to be distributed to the affected communities. A second shipment of mattresses, blankets, tarpaulins and clothes will be procured locally and sent out from JRC headquarters shortly.

The Federation’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) allocation of CHF 25,000 is to be used for the purchase of goods and the implementation of activities, as per initial budget below.

Unit Price (USD)
Food Parcels
Hygiene Parcels
Psychosocial Support
Distribution and Handling Costs
Public Relations and Media
HR and Administrative Support
PSR (6.5%)

These DREF funds will therefore assist the JRC with the local procurement of essential relief items, as well as packaging and distribution costs. The Jamaica Red Cross will assist 400 of the most affected families through the distribution of food, water and non-food items, as well as provision of psychosocial support. This assistance is anticipated to help speed up the physical and emotional recovery process.

Map: Jamaica: Floods - Situation map

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

- In Jamaica: Yvonne Clarke, Director General, Jamaica Red Cross, email: yvonneclarke@jamaicaredcross.org , phone: + (876) 984 7860-2, fax: + (876) 984 8272

- In Panama, Stephen McAndrew, Head, Pan American Disaster Response Unit, email: stephen.mcandrew@ifrc.org , phone: (507) 316-1001, fax: (507) 316-1082

- In Geneva: Luis Luna, Federation Regional Officer, Americas Department, email: luis.luna@ifrc.org ; phone 41.22.730.4274; fax 41.22.733.03.95

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation’s Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation’s website at http://www.ifrc.org