World August 23, 2023 | 8:09 am

The UN prepares to assist the Dominican Republic and Haiti in the face of storm Franklin

Santo Domingo.- The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) announced on Tuesday that their response teams in the Dominican Republic and Haiti are gearing up to provide emergency aid and food supplies to the most vulnerable communities in the projected path of Tropical Storm Franklin. The storm is expected to make landfall in the coming hours. In the Dominican Republic, about 125,000 individuals residing in areas prone to landslides and flash floods are at high risk. These communities are situated in overcrowded settlements near rivers, streams, and lagoons. The WFP noted that a “red alert” has been declared for most of the Dominican Republic by the Emergency Operations Center due to the anticipated landfall of Tropical Storm Franklin early on August 23.

Tropical Storm Franklin marks the sixth named storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, occurring within just four days of the fourth tropical storm being named. Gabriela Alvarado, the WFP representative in the Dominican Republic, emphasized the importance of preparation and the collaborative efforts with the Dominican government to ensure a prompt and effective response.

The UN agency is ready to assist authorities in assessing the storm’s impact and humanitarian needs in the affected communities, utilizing technologies like drones and artificial intelligence. In Haiti, the WFP is partnering with the General Directorate of Civil Protection to strategize for potential food needs. They’ve already supplied 120 tons of food to a new operations base in Miragoane. Additionally, food reserves have been stored for potential use in the Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien regions. The WFP is also prepared to offer dry food rations and cash assistance to up to 100,000 individuals if required.

Jean-Martin Bauer, the WFP representative in Haiti, highlighted the country’s vulnerability to extreme weather and the devastating impact of dangerous storms on Haitian lives and livelihoods. Recognizing the urgency during emergencies, Bauer explained that their team is working tirelessly to prepare for the arrival of Tropical Storm Franklin.

In response to the storm’s approach, the Dominican Republic has ordered the closure of several airports, and the storm’s core is expected to bring heavy rains to Haiti. Haiti, in turn, is under a yellow alert, with a focus on internally displaced populations due to their heightened vulnerability.

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