WFP Prepares Response as Tropical Storm Franklin Bears Down on the Dominican Republic and Haiti
August 22, 2023 | PANAMA CITY – As Tropical Storm Franklin approaches Hispaniola Island – bringing with it heavy rains, flood risk, storm surges and strong winds – United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) emergency response teams in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti are prepositioning food stocks and preparing emergency assistance for the most vulnerable communities in the path of the storm.
Most of the Dominican Republic has been declared on red alert by the government’s Emergency Operations Centre as Tropical Storm Franklin, the sixth named storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season (June-November), and the season’s fourth named tropical storm to form in four days, is expected to make landfall in the early hours of 23 August.
In the Dominican Republic, approximately 125,000 people living in the potential storm path are extremely vulnerable to landslides and flash floods because they live in poor, overcrowded settlements near rivers, creeks, and lagoons – according to WFP estimates.
“Now more than ever preparation is key. WFP is working side by side with the Dominican government to ensure a timely and effective response,” said Gabriela Alvarado, WFP Country Director in the Dominican Republic.
As long-standing partners, WFP and the Government of the Dominican Republic have worked together to boost disaster preparedness and response, logistics, and telecommunications capacities. WFP stands ready to support the authorities in assessing the storm’s impact and humanitarian needs among disaster-hit communities, including using drones and artificial intelligence.
In Haiti, WFP is working with the General Directorate of Civil Protection (DGPC) to plan for potential humanitarian food needs and has prepositioned 120 metric tons of food in a newly constructed operations base in Miragoane. WFP is also prepositioning food stocks for potential use in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince and at Cap-Haitien. WFP stands ready to provide dry food rations and cash-based assistance to up to 100,000 people if required.
“Haiti is among the most vulnerable countries in the world when it comes to the effects of extreme weather. We know from experience how dangerous storms can have a devastating effect on Haitians’ lives and livelihoods. During emergencies, every minute counts, so our team is working around the clock to prepare for Tropical Storm Franklin,” said Jean-Martin Bauer, WFP’s Country Director in Haiti.
The WFP-led United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) has also been put on standby to support any emergency response by transporting humanitarian responders, medical equipment, water, and other essential humanitarian supplies to needy communities.
As the humanitarian community’s foremost logistics expert, WFP is poised to take a leading role in first-line response to climate-related disasters. However, the storm strikes at a time when WFP is facing a critical shortage of resources in the region.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
- Marcelle Rodriguez, WFP/Dominican Republic, Mob. +1 829 629 1494
- Tanya Birkbeck, WFP/Haiti, Mob. +509 3735 4333
- Elio Rujano, WFP/Panama, Mob. +507 6677 0608
- James Belgrave, WFP/Rome, +39 366 529 4297