Hurricane Dean aftermath: WFP assisting over 10,000 victims in Jamaica and Belize

Published on 30 August 2007

As victims of Hurricane Dean slowly try to rebuild their shattered lives, WFP has announced that its emergency feeding operations are assisting about 10,500 of the worst affected in Jamaica and Belize.

As victims of Hurricane Dean slowly try to rebuild their shattered lives, WFP has announced that its emergency feeding operations are assisting about 10,500 of the worst affected in Jamaica and Belize.

“While Hurricane Dean may have vanished from the front pages of the newspapers, the reality of its destructive power remains for thousands of very poor people who must begin to put their lives back together,” said Carlo Scaramella, who is managing WFP’s regional response to Belize.

First step in rebuilding

“WFP’s emergency food rations are a key first step that will ensure these people can begin the process of rebuilding,” he said.

In Jamaica, a total of 5,500 people will receive complementary food assistance which will consist of a 450 kcal ration per day of High-Energy Biscuits (HEBs) for two weeks.

The victims are part of more than 30,000 people whose livelihoods have been affected when 200 km/h winds damaged housing, infrastructure and crops in the southern and south-eastern part of the island.

Loss in livelihood means

An additional 5,000 people in Belize will receive a full daily ration which will continue for a period of two months and which will consist of rice, pulses, vegetable oil, and HEBs. All of the beneficiaries suffered a dramatic loss in their livelihoods means.

The cost of the emergency response is US$256,131 which will be paid out of WFP’s Immediate Response Account – a special revolving fund that WFP can draw on to provide a swift response to emergencies without having to wait for donor contributions.

In both cases, preparation before the storm and prompt action afterwards by WFP regional emergency team enabled supplies flow quickly to those affected.

Humanitarian Response Centre

A critical role in the response was played by WFP’s Regional Centre for Humanitarian Response, recently established in El Salvador, where food and other equipment supplies are stored.

For Jamaica the response was coordinated through the WFP Caribbean emergency hub in Barbados with crucial support from the WFP Country Office in Haiti.

“What has been extremely important is that at the regional level today we have in place an emergency response team as well as emergency food supplies that we can deploy at a moment’s notice,” said WFP Deputy Regional Director Gordana Jerger.

“Given that the region faces a future of weather-related disasters whose intensity and number may well increase in number and intensity, the role of our sub-regional centres will become even more critical to saving lives and ensuring a swift humanitarian response,” Jerger added.