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The European Union Steps Up Support For Victims Of Deadly Hurricane Matthew

January 30, 2017

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The EU is providing civil protection expertise, extra humanitarian aid and in-kind assistance to Haiti following deadly hurricane Matthew

The European Commission is stepping up its support with a further €1.5 million in emergency aid for those most affected by hurricane Matthew in Haiti to cover immediate basic needs. The funding comes in addition to the initial EU humanitarian assistance of €255 000 announced yesterday.

Furthermore, today more EU Member States are offering assistance via the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism. A team of eleven EU civil protection experts from Denmark, Finland, France, Romania and Sweden is travelling to the affected areas today, due to arrive today and tomorrow. They are experts in emergency coordination, logistics, water and sanitation, and health. EU humanitarian workers and its partners are already on-site providing much needed help.

France, Spain and the United Kingdom are supplying shelters, water purification modules and other flooding management items. The EU's Copernicus emergency management service supports these efforts with satellite maps to assess damages.

Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management said "In solidarity with the people of Haiti, the European Union is stepping up emergency aid at this critical time to save lives. The EU is also providing expertise to help people in Haiti to provide temporary shelters, health services, safe drinking water and sanitation. I thank all our Member States for their help through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism which coordinates a European response to natural disasters. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this natural disaster and the rescue teams helping at this time."

Since 1994, the European Commission has granted €514.3 million in humanitarian aid to the Caribbean, of which €53 million has been allocated to help communities prepare and strengthen their resilience through Disaster Risk Reduction programmes. Hurricane Matthew is anticipated to have a high humanitarian impact on vulnerable populations, especially in Haiti, a country in particular risk to water borne diseases.

Background

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates the cooperation in disaster response among 34 European states (28 EU Member States, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Norway, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey). These participating states pool the resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world. When activated, the Mechanism coordinates the provision of assistance inside and outside the European Union. The European Commission manages the Mechanism through its Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC).

Assessments are still ongoing to evaluate the full extent of the damage and the humanitarian needs in the region.

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