Inequality amplifies risks as Hurricane Maria batters the Dominican Republic

By Oxfam
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Hurricane Maria Photo: NOAA

As heavy rains from multiple storms trigger floods and landslides in the Dominican Republic, communities near rivers and canyons or in mountainous regions are at particular risk.

"We are monitoring the effects of Hurricane Maria now,” says Raúl del Río, Oxfam Director in the Dominican Republic. “Oxfam staff and partner organizations are prepared to support any response that the Dominican government might organize.”

Oxfam’s response to the emergency will likely focus on water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance, and on preventing outbreaks of dengue, zika, cholera, leptospirosis, and other vector-borne diseases. 

But, explains del Río, there is an unequal distribution of risk in the country. The country’s poorest citizens and other disadvantaged groups feel the greatest impacts of extreme weather events like the hurricanes of 2017, so in addition to its work on public health, Oxfam will focus on advocacy for the rights of those affected.

Oxfam and partners will also provide food aid, if it is needed.


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