IFRC appeals for 2.4 million Swiss francs to assist Dominican Republic communities devastated by floods

Published: 2 December 2016

Geneva / Panama, 26 November 2016 - The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an emergency appeal for 2.4 million Swiss francs ($2.5 million) to provide support to 25,000 people affected by floods in the Dominican Republic. In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, the Dominican Republic has been hit with floods and landslides.

Heavy rains through November have displaced thousands of families. On 13 November, the President of the Dominican Republic declared a national emergency for the provinces of Puerto Plata, La Vega, Espaillat and María Trinidad Sánchez, which was later extended to include Santiago, Duarte and Samaná. Although some people in affected communities have returned to their homes, many are still displaced and need urgent humanitarian assistance.

Forecasts indicate that the heavy rainfall will continue and dams are at their maximum capacity, particularly the Taveras Dam in the north, where the release of water to ensure the safety of the dam has caused additional flooding in the provinces of Santiago, Valverde and Montecristi. In addition, flooding has also been reported in the southern part of the country. 

More than 20,000 people have been affected and hundreds are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

The emergency appeal will fund first aid and emergency health care, treatment of water, sanitation assistance, sanitation and hygiene promotion, livelihoods, nutrition and food security, shelter, and disaster risk reduction activities. The funding will also be used to help people with damaged or destroyed homes, providing them with materials and tools to build emergency shelter and make basic repairs to their houses.

“Our concern is to provide the aid people need as quickly as possible. We are not only thinking of the relief phase but also in the recovery, and for that reason we have included in our appeal, livelihood activities that support the community to reestablish their economic situation. With this appeal Dominican Republic Red Cross will continue exercising its auxiliary role supporting its government in the emergency response and recovery actions”, says Iñigo Barrena, IFRC´s Americas Coordinator of the Disaster and Crisis Unit.

The Dominican Republic Red Cross is coordinating relief efforts closely with the government and planning assessments to capture the full extent of damage and humanitarian need.

To access the appeal click here and the appeals section of IFRC is available here.

For media inquiries or to arrange for interviews, please contact:

In Panama:

 Diana Medina, communications manager (English and Spanish)
Skype: medinadiana30
Phone/whatsApp: +507 6780-5395

In Geneva
Benoit Matsha-Carpentier, IFRC team leader, public communications and outreach
Phone: +41 79 213 24 13
Email: benoit.carpentier@ifrc.org