Period covered by this Operations Update: 12 December 2008 to 17 February 2009.
Appeal target (current): CHF 911,135 (USD 751,235 or EUR 592,038).
Appeal coverage: 100%
- Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF): CHF 140,000 (USD 133,333 OR EUR 86,047) was initially allocated from the Federation's DREF to support the National Society to respond.
- Emergency Appeal launched on 27 June 2008 for CHF 381,174 (USD 363,022 or EUR 234,280) in cash, inkind, or services to support the Suriname Red Cross (SRC) to assist 3,000 families (15,000 beneficiaries) for six months.
- Revised Emergency Appeal launched on 27 July 2008 for CHF 844,295 (USD 861,181 or EUR 518,927) to include an additional relief distribution and additional capacity-building activities.
- Revised budget and extended time frame on 23 January 2009, from CHF 844,295 to CHF 911,135, to reflect additional funds received for an additional 2 months, until 27 February 2009 to continue the recovery and rehabilitation activities.
The Suriname Red Cross, with support from the International Federation, and in conjunction with local partners, conducted food security assessments in the flood affected area after the emergency relief phase activities had been completed. Assessment findings confirmed the continued vulnerability to current food shortages and the likely escalation of food insecurity in the flood affected regions. Consequently, a collaborative effort has been underway to plan and implement recovery and community risk reduction activities in the food security sector. This fourth operations update focuses on the completion of flood recovery and community risk reduction activities through 12 February 2009.
A Final Report will be made available by 27 May 2009 (three months after the end of the operation).
Heavy rainfall, with high peaks in the week from 1 to 7 June 2008, lead to the overflow of the Tapanahony and Marowijne rivers and consequently to the flooding of villages that lay along the riverbanks. As the water receded it became clear that many life sustaining crops were destroyed. The most affected areas, the Tapanahony, Lawa, upper Marowijne and Coeroeni, are in southern and eastern Suriname. Reports from the National Coordination Centre for Disaster Management (National Coordinatie Centrum Rampenbeheersing - NCCR) indicated that 30 percent of the livestock, 65 percent of crops and 90 percent of the fishing industry were affected.
The Suriname government and several NGOs responded to the emergency by coordinating efforts and sharing information. Damage and needs assessments of the affected areas were conducted. The government commenced relief assistance by distributing food parcels during the first weeks after the flooding. After the government distributions, the Suriname Red Cross commenced distributions of food and non-food items to the most vulnerable, totaling 2,554 families.
After the rain subsided and river levels decreased, families were able to fish and hunt, crops were salvaged and used for consumption and land was prepared for the next planting season. However, planting materials readily available amounted to only approximately 30 percent of normal planting levels. In addition, rising transportation costs have made the purchase of food in the affected communities very expensive, and the variety of food products available for purchase scarce. These combined factors have resulted in a continuous food security problem in the villages affected by the floods. Currently, there are no mechanism to stabilize food availability and access in some areas.
The International Federation/Suriname Red Cross are grateful for the generous donations to this appeal that made it possible to add interventions specific to the continued food insecurity. Subsequently, a new plan of action was developed focusing on sustainable, improved food security and the appeal timeframe was extended to complete the implementation of this new plan of action. The overall goal of the new plan is to improve the current and long-term food security situation and to take preventative steps to mitigate and help avoid vulnerability to future flooding.