European Commission supports recovery of hurricane Felix victims in Nicaragua with almost €7.5 million
Brussels, 10 July 2008 - The European Commission will provide €7.49 million under its Stability Instrument in support of the social and economic recovery of communities in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) of Nicaragua which had been severely affected by Hurricane Felix in September 2007. This action builds upon the emergency relief phase during which €6 million had been provided by the humanitarian office of the Commission ECHO and is a link to the longer term reconstruction and development efforts in the affected areas. The European Commission thus is one of the largest donors in this region of Nicaragua.
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy commented: "The pictures of the devastations caused by Hurricane Felix have disappeared from the evening news but the effects continue to be felt by the inhabitants of this region in Nicaragua. We have a responsibility to help the people in the affected areas and the government of Nicaragua to make every effort of allowing these people to be able to earn a living in their region. With this assistance from the Stability Instrument we are able to help bridging the gap between immediate emergency assistance and aid for reconstruction. The people in the affected regions need our support to regain their livelihoods, to have sustainable access to clean water and restart farming. This is what we will be concentrating on."
The purpose of the programme is to promote the socio-economic stability of one of the poorest areas of Nicaragua, ensuring the recovery of communities affected by the disaster. The programme is designed to build upon ECHO interventions provided during the relief phase and will focus on promoting sustainable recovery of key water and sanitation infrastructures as well as livelihood support, income generation and food security of farmers. Furthermore this assistance will interlink with priorities identified jointly with Nicaragua in the Country Strategy Paper, especially with the sector of 'social cohesion' which would combine the recovery measures with long term development strategies. It is a reaffirmation of the Commission's commitment to supporting communities with high rates of poverty and social exclusion that are also highly vulnerable to natural disasters.
Further information on the Stability Instrument: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/worldwide/stability-instrument/index_en.htm