Food For The Poor Prepares for Tropical Storm Franklin in Haiti and the Dominican Republic
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Aug. 23, 2023) Food For The Poor (FFTP) is preparing for an anticipated urgent need for aid in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as Tropical Storm Franklin made landfall Wednesday morning on Hispaniola, an island shared by both countries.
Moving at about 10 miles an hour with windspeeds of 50 miles an hour, Franklin is forecast to linger over the island for much of the day, dumping as much as 10 inches of rain and producing heavy flooding and life-threatening landslides.
“The slower the storm moves and the more saturated the ground becomes, the greater the threat for catastrophic flooding and landslides, particularly in Haiti,” FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said. “We are praying that everyone will be safe, but we have to be prepared.”
FFTP has been in communication with in-country partners in Haiti and the Dominican Republic since forecasts indicated they were in the path of the storm. Order of Malta Dominican Republic and Caritas República Dominicana activated their emergency response protocols and all 32 providences in the country on high alert. Authorities in the Dominican Republic shut down much of the country, including schools, government offices and businesses, on Tuesday as the storm approached.
Earlier this year, FFTP prepositioned disaster preparedness kits in Haiti and the Dominican Republic with enough supplies to help 500 families. Each disaster relief kit includes tarps, disaster blankets, children’s activity kits from Midwest Mission Distribution Center, disaster hygiene kits with hygiene items from MAP International, women’s care kits, Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier, an oral rehydration solution, water purification packets from Water Mission, hand-crank emergency radio flashlights and diapers.
In addition, containers of in-kind goods are either en route to Haiti, at the port or in FFTP’s warehouse in Port-au-Prince, as well as in FFTP regional distribution centers.
In Haiti, the challenges will be accessing certain roads and navigating around gang blockades to deliver aid after the storm. With as much as 80 to 90 percent of Port-au-Prince controlled by gangs, Haiti is experiencing ongoing violence, kidnappings, and killings.
Tropical Storm Franklin arrives as approximately 5 million people in Haiti – nearly half the population – are projected to be in acute hunger. In addition to growing food insecurity, cholera re-emerged in Haiti last October as fuel shortages hindered water treatment efforts and reduced the supply of safe drinking water, forcing many to rely on untreated water.
In the Dominican Republic, where more than 40 percent of the population lives in poverty and 21 percent lives below the poverty line, Tropical Storm Franklin threatens to be a repeat of the impact of Hurricane Fiona, which made landfall in September 2022. FFTP responded with support after the storm triggered life-threatening flash flooding, forcing more than 800 people to evacuate and leaving more than 1 million people without running water.
“Conditions are challenging in both countries,” Raine said. “Tropical Storm Franklin further intensifies the severity. We will continue to keep Haiti and the Dominican Republic in our prayers as we work to support them with emergency relief.”
To make a donation to help FFTP deliver aid to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, please click the following link: www.foodforthepoor.org/franklin.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.