June 2 2004
SOS Emergency Relief Programme launched for flood-hit Caribbean
02/06/2004 - The situation in the Dominican Republic and Haiti remains chaotic following the floods that devastated parts of the two countries, which make up the Caribbean Island of Hispaniola. SOS Children's Villages has started providing emergency relief for victims and survivors of the climatic catastrophe.
Last week, SOS Children's Villages in the Dominican Republic delivered a truckload of food, medicine and blankets to the area most affected by the floods - around the community of Jimani, which has a population of 42,538 inhabitants and which is situated along the border between the two countries. In Jimani, the national director of SOS Children's Villages in the Dominican Republic, Josefina Delgado, also held talks with the local emergency commission to discuss the situation of the children there.
SOS Children's Villages will continue providing emergency relief to the flood-hit areas in the form of humanitarian aid parcels. Over the weekend, children and employees from the two Dominican SOS Children's Villages, classified and packaged donations from the local population that will be delivered later this week. These donations will be delivered not only to the community of Jimani - which has so far received the most emergency relief from various humanitarian organisations - but also to other flood-hit areas in the country's north.
"To do so, we are contacting companies who can lend us trucks to deliver the emergency relief to the affected sites," said Delgado. "We will provide clothes, medicine, food and water to affected areas in the north and - as Jimani has received so much help from other organisations - we will only take medicine, food and kitchenware there."
In a joint effort with UNICEF, World Vision and Caritas, SOS Children's Villages will also be providing psychological support for children and adults in Jimani. SOS Children's Villages is currently providing specialised training for pedagogic staff who volunteered for this job. The aim is to compose a group of ten people with psychological background.
All of the facilities run by SOS Children's Villages in both countries have not been affected by the devastating floods. In the Dominican Republic, the organisation operates two SOS Children's Villages in the capital Santo Domingo. In neighbouring Haiti, there are two SOS Children's Villages - one near the capital Port-au-Prince and one in Cap Haitien - as well as other educational and social centres.