On 18 September 2017, Hurricane Maria hit the eastern part of Dominica as a category 5 hurricane causing massive destruction. On 25 September, the UN estimated that up to 65,000 people, almost 90 percent of the population, have suffered damage to their housing and livelihoods. WFP estimates that the majority of the population will require immediate food assistance until markets are re-established at which point an estimated 25,000 would require continued support.
The Government of Dominica has requested international assistance and has approached WFP for support in logistics, emergency telecommunication and food assistance. The immediate response emergency operation (IR-EMOP 201105) for the Eastern Caribbean as well as the Special Operation (SO 201106) for the entire Caribbean approved following Hurricane Irma, ensured an immediate response when Hurricane Maria struck Dominica. WFP’s overall response through the SO, IR EMOP and this EMOP has been incorporated in a joint UN appeal.
Through this emergency operation, WFP, together with partner agencies, will support the Government of Dominica to provide further assistance to 25,000 people vulnerable to food insecurity and highly affected by the hurricane, and offer continued technical assistance to reinforce the Government’s overall response and early recovery efforts. WFP food assistance will complement that of the Government to ensure adequate food rations are provided to the most vulnerable populations to meet their daily food and nutritional needs. Where feasible, assistance will be provided through existing government social protection programmes, with particular attention to the needs of women, children, the elderly impacted by the hurricane.
The overall objective of this operation is to end hunger by protecting access to food, in line with Strategic Objective 1 of WFP’s Strategic Plan (2017-2021). WFP relief assistance will ensure access to food (Strategic Result 1) with the aim to save lives and protect the livelihoods of hurricane-affected people in Dominica.”
The Government of Dominica, in close collaboration with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), takes the lead in conducting rapid and sectorial needs assessments. Based on the findings of these and other assessments, WFP may revise the planning assumptions for this operation and adjust the targeting and response strategy.