Tropical Storm Erika Highlights Need for Assistance Now, And in the Future.

AOSIS member, Dominica, is seeking aid from the international community in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Erika, which killed at least 31 people and devastated homes and businesses across the Caribbean island.

Lloyd Pascal, Dominica’s representative at the U.N. climate talks in Bonn, said the disaster underscored the need for an ambitious climate deal, including a loss and damage mechanism to help vulnerable countries manage impacts from powerful storms and hurricanes.

“Suffering and loss of life due to climate change is very unevenly distributed,” he told negotiators in Bonn. “We need a fair, comprehensive, balanced agreement.”

At least 24 people are still missing in Dominica and the death toll could rise as rescuers move door-to-door looking for survivors.

AOSIS member states Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Cuba have already sent equipment, rescuers and doctors to help with the relief effort. UNICEF has pledged to send relief supplies such as hygiene kits, water purification tablets, and tents.

Science increasingly suggests that climate change is making storms more powerful and destructive as higher sea surface temperatures fuel intense storms. Storm surges have also worsened as higher sea levels lead to more flooding.

AOSIS has been pushing for an international mechanism to manage losses and damages from slow-onset climate impacts like sea level rise and ocean acidification, as well as sudden and devastating events, like Tropical Storm Erika, to be included in the Paris climate agreement.

To help directly support relief efforts in Dominica you can contact: Mrs. Kathleen Pinard-Byrne, Director General, Dominica Red Cross National Headquarters, Federation Drive, Goodwill Commonwealth of Dominica Contact# 1-767-448-8280 / 616-1300.