LONDON - Child rights and humanitarian organization Plan International is ready to respond in the Dominican Republic as Hurricane Maria lashes vast areas of the country.
Torrential rains have caused rivers and dams to reach their peak capacities. With rains likely to continue until Saturday there are serious concerns of widespread flooding and damage.
Plan International is particularly concerned about the vulnerability of families in the northeast of the country, who have felt the worst effects of Maria and were also badly affected by Hurricane Irma earlier this month.
“Although Hurricane Maria is not as strong as Hurricane Irma was, we fear that this time, the damage will be far greater due to incessant heavy rains,” said Virginia Saiz, Country Director for Plan International in the Dominican Republic.
“Rivers and dams are at breaking point, with some already having flooded both urban and rural communities. Over 17,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in this latest emergency, with more than half this number now being accommodated in government shelters. We are particularly concerned about the distress and disruption caused to children.
“We are closely coordinating with the government and local authorities to determine how we can best help these families and others affected.”
Plan is carrying out an assessment of the situation to identify the most urgent needs of the affected population.
About Plan International USA
Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Plan believes in the power and potential of every child. Working together with children, young people, supporters, and partners, Plan strives for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children. For more information, please visit PlanUSA.org.