CRS Allocates $200,000 for Relief Efforts in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

Catholic Relief Services
Friday, 28 May 2004

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) today announced an additional allocation of $200,000 in private funds to assist in relief and rehabilitation efforts after severe flooding on the island of Hispaniola. It is feared that the death toll will reach into the thousands as information continues to be gathered among the affected communities.

A week of rain followed by tropical storm-like weather last weekend sent rivers and streams over their banks and destroyed infrastructure—including roads, schools and hospital clinics. Thousands of homes have been damaged, and loss of livestock is reported to be heavy. The floods came just after the planting season, inundating thousands of hectares of newly planted crops.

"We continue to work with our local Caritas partners to assess the damage and the needs," said Andrew Rosauer, Country Representative for the Dominican Republic. "The people most affected by this disaster were already among the most vulnerable. We are delivering needed relief items, while conducting assessments to determine ways to assist in the longer term economic recovery."

The newly released $200,000—which is in addition to $20,000 allotted earlier this week—will be divided between the two countries for the purchase of relief items, including food, potable water, materials for shelter and medicine. On Thursday, USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance granted $40,000 to CRS/Haiti for emergency non-food relief distributions in the southeastern and western parts of Haiti.

"Many of the hardest-hit areas remain difficult to access," noted Sheyla Biamby, Program Manager for Social Assistance for CRS/Haiti. "We are relying on our local network of partners to gather information and distribute what relief we can for those in need."

CRS has worked in Haiti since 1954 and in the Dominican Republic since 1961, with programming in the areas of food security, HIV/AIDS care, safety net programs, civil society, health, water and sanitation, education and agriculture.

For more information, or to contact Catholic Relief Services, see their website at: www.catholicrelief.org

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