Noel and Olga Tropical Storms
Following the rains and floods caused by Tropical Storm Noel, UNICEF starts Response
In the framework of its basic commitments to children in emergency situations, UNICEF had a mandate to protect children and their families while ensuring the application of international standards that regulate their rights and provide them with aid.
During Tropical Storms Noel and Olga, and as part of the United Nations emergency team in the country, the UNICEF Office collaborated closely with the national authorities to ensure that all children who were affected received appropriate care, and that they could return to their normal daily activities.
UNICEF supported the following areas:
• Distribution of Hygiene Kits
• Distribution of food to children under the age of five
• Drinking water supply
• Support for psycho-social recovery for children and their families
UNICEF distributed packages with food for children under the age of five
On Friday October 28th, heavy prolonged rainfall started to batter the entire Dominican Republic, leading to huge rises in the water levels of rivers and dams, landslides and bridge collapses, as well as widespread flooding across the country.
Emergency Operations Centre (COE)/ Bulletin 27 (12th November 2007, 11:00 a.m.)
No. of dead 87
No. of missing 42
Displaced people In shelters - 7,620
With friends and family - 71,132
Homes affected Light damage - 14,997
Seriously - 1,506
Destroyed - 3,185
Equipped shelters 64
Isolated communities 95
The United Nations System in the Dominican Republic worked in coordination with the government entities headed by the Presidential Administrative Ministry, the Foreign Relations Ministry and the National Emergencies Commission.
Care for children
During the storms, UNICEF made a special call for the protection of affected children and their families, as well as children who had been orphaned, so that their high vulnerability level and special food, hygiene and psycho-emotional recovery needs were taken into account. UNICEF’s office in the Dominican Republic acquired 2,000 food packages locally and distributed them in coordination with the Dominican Red Cross. The food supplies lasted for two weeks and the hygiene articles were for children under the age of five. During this first phase they were distributed to 400 families in shelters in San Cristóbal, Manoguayabo, Los Alcarrizos and Cambita Garabito in the South West of the country.
The food packages were distributed after an evaluation found that even when the areas affected by floods were receiving food packages, many children under the age of five didn’t get adequate nutrition or the right sort of food.
UNICEF’s initial donation was worth over US$60,000 and each package included baby food, mixed cereals, proteins, biscuits, milk, water, disposable diapers, blankets, bath soap and plastic bags for waste disposal. The organisation was also coordinated with governmental institutions to apply for additional funds.
UNICEF staff, together with the United Nations System technical team, Government and NGO representatives,visited the worst affected areas with the aim of assessing the needs of people staying in shelters and communities.
LEVEL OF INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE ON THE GROUND
United Nations technical assistance: five members of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team, one United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation specialist, one member of the Organisation for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), six health, water and sanitation and disaster specialists from the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO), two specialists from the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) and one World Food Programme logistics specialist.